Nuclear Energy is The Savior Source

OP-ED

Written by Gillyan Christensen

In the instance of finding energy that best suits the sustainability needed to fuel the American power, one may question the types of energy that are most sustainable, clean, and safe.


When pondering these types of energy, Nuclear energy seems to be the best fit for all three factors. Nuclear energy is the energy in the nucleus, or core, of an atom. There is an immense amount of energy in an atom's dense nucleus. In undeniable fact, the power that holds the nucleus together is officially called the strong force. Nuclear energy can be used to create electricity, which is released from an atom within the process of nuclear fission. The types of machines and technology needed to enact this are nuclear reactors, or power plants, which are a series of machines that can control nuclear fission to produce electricity. The fuel that nuclear reactors use to produce this is the element uranium. In a nuclear reactor, atoms of uranium are forced to break apart. As they split, the atoms release tiny particles called fission products. Fission products cause other uranium atoms to split, starting a chain reaction. The energy released from this chain reaction creates heat. The heat created by nuclear fission warms the reactor's cooling agent.


The steam caused by the cooling agent turns turbines, or wheels turned by current. The turbines drive generators that create electricity. Rods of material called nuclear poison can adjust how much electricity is produced. The more rods of nuclear poison that are present during the chain reaction, the slower and more controlled the reaction will be. Removing the rods will allow a stronger chain reaction and create more electricity. As of 2011, almost 15 percent of the entire world's electricity is generated by nuclear power plants. The United States has more than 100 reactors, although it creates most of its electricity from fossil fuels and hydroelectric energy. Nations such as Lithuania, France, and Slovakia create almost all of their electricity from nuclear power plants. The advantages of using nuclear energy are numerous; it provides value, unlike anything that can be found in other sources of energy.


One significant benefit is that the electricity supplied by nuclear energy is carbon-free, which makes it valuable for environmental protection. It’s a way of fighting climate change. The reliability of the electricity provided by nuclear power is also worth mentioning; it is continuously produced without hiccups. Power provided by nuclear energy doesn’t contain mercury, nitrogen oxide, or sulfur dioxide making the air cleaner, with fewer pollutants. It can also power electric cars, which also reduces discharges of carbon. This is a great move with using more clean electricity, but at what price would it come to go from 11% clean to 100% clean by 2050.


The answer is simple: it would come at too big of a price, not only for economics but also for the environment and international relations. The Biden Administration presented these four points on how to use better energy for the environment: Ensure that the U.S. achieves a 100% clean energy economy and reaches net-zero emissions no later than 2050, recommit to the Paris Agreement on climate change, and rally the rest of the world to meet the threat of climate change, enforce environmental regulations and punish polluters who violate them, and support and retrain workers and communities whose industries will be negatively affected by his reforms. These policies, in my opinion, are not only discrediting and destroying our national sovereignty, but they are also job killers, environmental hazards and unconstitutional. The goal of hitting 100% clean energy by 2050, is not realistically safe enough to be plausible. The use of energy is considered sustainable if it meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations. Definitions of sustainable energy typically include environmental aspects such as greenhouse gas emissions, and social and economic aspects such as energy poverty.


Renewable energy sources such as wind, hydroelectric power, solar and geothermal energy are generally far more sustainable than fossil fuel sources. However, some renewable energy projects, such as the clearing of forests for the production of biofuels, can cause severe environmental damage. The role of non-renewable energy sources has been controversial. As an example, nuclear power is a low-carbon source and has a safety record comparable to wind and solar, but its sustainability has been debated due to concerns about nuclear proliferation, radioactive waste and accidents.


The concept of sustainable development for which energy is a key component, was described by the United Nations Brundland Commision in its 1987 report Our Common Future. It defined sustainable development as development that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This description of sustainable development has since been refe