In our society, nuclear energy has become one of the most criticizedforms of energy by the environmentalists. Thus, a look at nuclear energyand the environment and its impact on economic growth.
Lewis Munford, an analyst, once wrote, “Too much energy is as fatal astoo little, hence the regulation of energy input and output not itsunlimited expansion, is in fact one of the main laws of life. ” This istrue when dealing with nuclear power. Because our societies structure andprocesses both depend upon energy, man is searching for the most efficientand cheapest form of energy that can be used on a long term basis. Andbecause we equate power with growth, the more energy that a country uses, -the greater their expected economic growth. The problem is that energy isconsidered to have two facets or parts: it is a major source of man-maderepercussions as well as being the basis of life support systems.Order now
Therefore, we are between two sections in which one is the section of”resource availability and waste”, and the other “the continuity of lifesupport systems pertinent to survival. “Thus, the environmentalists believe that nuclear energy should not beused for various reasons. First of all, the waste product, i. e. plutonium,is extremely radioactive, which may cause the people who are working orliving in or around the area of storage or use, to acquire leukemia andother cancers. They also show how billions of dollars are spent yearly onsafety devices for a single reactor, and this still doesn’t ensure theimpossibility of a “melt down.
” Two examples were then given of Chernobyland Three Mile Island, in 1979, when thousands of people were killed andincapacitated. Finally, the environmentalists claim that if society wastesless energy, and develops the means to use the energy more efficiency, thenthere would be a definite decrease in the requirement for more energyproducing plants. On the other hand, some business men and economists say that thepresent conditions should be kept intact, as the other forms of energy,e. g. oil, natural gas and coal, are only temporary, in dealing withsurplus, and give off more pollution with less economic growth. Concurrently, countries wanted a more reliable, smokeless form of energynot controlled by OPEC, and very little uranium was required to producesuch a high amount of resultant energy.
Lastly, they said that renewableenergy is (a) unreliable in that the wind, for example, could not bedepended upon to blow, nor the sun to shine, and (b) were intermittent inthat a 1,000 mega-watt solar farm may occupy about 5,000 acres of land,compared with less than 150 acres of land for a similar capacity nuclearpower generation station. Because the energy technology that society employs directly influencesthe quantity and quality of life, the energy option that is chosen shouldhave the greatest cost- benefit effectiveness as well as maximizingflexibility and purchases. However, those who believe in continuous energyconsumption growth, seem to forget that there is only a limited supply ofenergy in every energy system, and to “overdo” any resource may provide foran unacceptable impact upon global and regional ecology. Thus, if the business world pushes the environment as far as it cango, Ceribus Paribus, please refer to figure 1.
Thus, to use petroleum as asubstitute for uranium, which is needed to power the nuclear system, wouldnot be economically or environmentally sensible. I say this because, firstof all, there is a major supply of uranium considering it was one of thelast energy sources to be found as well as only a small amount of it isrequired to produce a lot of energy. Secondly, petroleum gives off carbonmonoxide which is one of the reasons for ozone depletion; whereas, theuranium does not give off pollution except that it produces plutonium whichneeds to be buried for more than fifty years to get rid of its radiation. Finally, because so much of the petroleum will be required to power thevast area that nuclear energy can cover, the cost to us as the consumerwould be massive! This would mean slower economic growth and/or expansion,especially when compared to nuclear energy. Therefore: Ceribus Paribus -(a) if the cost decreases, the demand increases, and – (b) if the costincreases, the demand decreases. Please refer to figures #2 and #3respectively.
Nuclear plants are now replacing coal burning plants. It will costthe taxpayers far more