Connor Koepnick Part 4

Nuclear energy has many reasons that it needs to be even more prevalent in the world’s energy arsenal. The nuclear fission process is the most efficient way to produce electricity, it produces next to no carbon emissions, and using nuclear energy will help us learn more scientifically.

First off, it is widely known that using coal and other fossil fuels leads to an increase of CO2 and other natural gases into the atmosphere. It is also accepted that those gases lead to a higher global temperature leading to the eventual downfall of the earth(“emissions”). However nuclear energy would drastically reduce the the amount of natural gases in our air. When we burn coal and gas we are putting upwards of one kilogram of CO2 per kilowatt hour of electricity produced. Compared to 100 grams of CO2 with nuclear energy (“Facts”). The best part about that number is that it will keep decreasing. When the carbon footprint was calculated it took creating the nuclear facilities into the figure; however, the actual fission emits no carbon emissions. Nuclear energy would help drop the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere,

Nuclear energy is also the most efficient way to produce electricity. When something is turned into something else. Like oil into gas or uranium into electricity there is a theoretical yield, or what should be produced. Very seldom is that the amount that is actually the amount produced. To calculate how efficient something is take how much is actually produced, divide it by how much you actually got, then multiply by 100. Out of Gas, Coal, wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear energy there is a wide range of efficiency. In the case of solar energy, the least efficient, it is only 29% efficient and the second most efficient is gas at 53% (Life-Cycle Analyses). Nuclear blows everyone out of the water at 92%. Nuclear energy would be the best option to create an environment of effective energy

Finally studying nuclear energy leads to many wonderful discovers. Even with how deadly the bombs that we dropped on japan were, we learned a lot during that time in the realm of chemistry and physics (Manhattan). Inventions including turning plutonium into electricity, medical cancer treatments, and most recently a battery that lasts tens of thousands of years. That battery puts a layer of diamond over top of radioactive waste to create a cell that gives off no radiation and wont need to be replaced because of the contents that power it. Plutonium has a half life of 5,000 years, so the battery would still have 50% capacity after 5,000 years. For that reason it is a prime candidate to power things like space ships and pacemakers where it is near impossible to replace a battery (Kozub). Furthermore, a normal banana gives off more radiation than this battery, so it is perfectly safe.

Nuclear energy has many great upsides that has helped us since its inception in the 1940’s. Even with its wide array of uses, its effectiveness of turning unstable ions into electricity is its bread and butter. It is the most efficient producer as well it releases almost no carbon gases into the atmosphere. It is something that should be used more in the world today.

“The Manhattan Project.” Ushistory.org. Independence Hall Association, n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2017.

“Fact Sheets.” Quick Facts: Nuclear Energy in America – Nuclear Energy Institute. Nuclear Energy Institute, July 2016. Web. 12 Mar. 2017.

“Life-Cycle Emissions.” Life-Cycle Emissions – Nuclear Energy Institute. Nuclear Energy Institute, n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2017.

Kozub, Monika. “Diamond Batteries from Nuclear Waste.” Next Nature Network. Next Nature Network, 22 Dec. 2016. Web. 12 Mar. 2017.

“Life-Cycle Emissions Analyses.” Life-Cycle Emissions Analyses – Nuclear Energy Institute. Nuclear Energy Institute, n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2017.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. mulkay says:

    I feel like you need more of a counter argument of how using nuclear energy could be safe. You clearly stated the benefits, but safety appears to be the primary concern of the opposition. Also part three is more story based and part four seems to be more statistical. This is ok but it may help to balance the techniques on both sides.

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  2. I think this piece is great, but there are many concerns and misconceptions with nuclear energy that I feel like you need to discuss in your piece. I think by doing that, your piece will become stronger.

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  3. schbra17 says:

    Overall, I think both your part III and part IV are well written. As someone who has vested a lot of time in nuclear power and related fields, I think you should look more into the problem of sustainability. If we completely transferred to nuclear power, it would last no longer than one hundred years. As you mentioned in both parts, there are studies and advancements every day, but I think it is important for you to evaluate whether or not an advancement that makes nuclear energy competitive is realistic.

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