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Justin Goerke
NUCLEAR ENERGY

Switzerland Nuclear Power Station - by Night

One of the major requirements for sustaining human progress is an adequate source of energy. The current largest sources of energy are the combustion of coal, oil and natural gas. These are discussed in the main page on energy. These sources of energy will only last for a short time but will surely run out or become harmful in tens to hundreds of years. Solar energy will work but is not considerably developed yet except for special applications because of its high cost. This high cost as a main source, e.g. for central station electricity, is likely to continue, and nuclear energy is likely to remain inexpensive.

URANIUM -(Australia's Nuclear Involvement)

In the last forty years uranium has become one of the world's most important energy minerals. It is used almost entirely for making electricity, though a small proportion is used for the important task of producing medical isotopes. Among uranium exporting countries Australia has some of the strictest conditions relating to the use of its uranium. These safeguards seek to ensure that uranium exported from Australia is used for peaceful purposes only and is not diverted for military purposes or used in a way which adds to the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Australia is now one of the world's major producers and exporters of uranium. In addition to providing further diversification and strength to the domestic economy it gives us a voice in the framing of international nuclear policies and safeguards. It also reduces the need for buyers to seek uranium from countries with less effective safeguards.


Instances of the nuclear fuel "Uranium" throughout Australia

ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF NUCLEAR POWER

As a result of the ever growing nuclear energy stations, the amount of carbon dioxide - a major greenhouse gas - released into the atmosphere by the USA's electric utilities was reduced by 2 billion tons. In 1996 alone, U.S. nuclear power plants prevented the discharge of 147 million tons of carbon.

But the USA isn't the only beneficial country of nuclear power. The increased reliance on nuclear energy throughout the world has contributed to a cleaner, healthier environment for everyone. In 1994, the 432 nuclear power plants in the world were responsible for keeping 466 million tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, along with seven million tons of nitrogen oxide and 15 million tons of sulfur dioxide.

Since 1973, they have reduced worldwide emissions of carbon more than 6 billion metric tons, sulfur dioxide emissions by 203 metric tons, and nitrogen oxide emissions by 91 million metric tons. Those countries that rely on nuclear energy for most of their electricity have enjoyed even greater environmental benefits. France, for example, which generates about 75 percent of its electricity from nuclear energy, has cut its average carbon dioxide emissions nearly in half since 1973.


The Nuclear Energy HELP towards Carbon Dioxide Emissions.

BENEFITS OF NUCLEAR ENERGY

The following list of benefits was complied from the American - Nuclear Energy Institute : Because nuclear power plants do not burn anything, they are non-polluting and kind to the environment. Unlike coal-, gas- and oil-fired power plants, nuclear power plants do not emit carbon dioxide and other harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Nuclear energy also gives the world a diversity of fuel sources for meeting its electricity needs. By not putting all of our energy eggs in one basket, the world can keep a reliable supply of electricity flowing to homes and businesses despite interruptions in fuel supplies caused by weather conditions and natural disasters, or by international events and economic fluctuations. Since the Arab oil embargo of 1973, nuclear energy has displaced the need for more than 2.3 billion barrels of oil at an estimated cost of $53 billion, giving countries using nuclear energy greater energy security and economic strength. Not only does nuclear energy keep a countries dollars at home, it keeps the country at work, with an estimated 400,000 people employed in nuclear-related jobs for America alone.

BENEFITS IN AMERICA

Through continuing research and innovation, America's technological leadership in the nuclear industry is unmatched anywhere in the world today. Maintaining that leadership position not only benefits its society today, but also will create opportunities for their children. By providing their society with a reliable, economical and clean supply of electricity, nuclear energy offers America the opportunity for sustainable growth for future generations.
GRAPHICAL OUTLINE OF NUCLEAR POWER GENERATION

This is only a small preview of the picture..... Please click on the picture to see it in FULL SIZE.

SAFETY - HOW THE U.S.A. DEALS WITH IT

How safe are nuclear power plants? They do, after all, contain radioactive materials — the stuff left over after uranium atoms are split to create heat to generate electricity. To prevent any harmful release of radiation into the environment, U.S. nuclear power plants follow a philosophy of "safety in depth." This philosophy begins with the design of nuclear plants, which takes advantage of the laws of nature and incorporates backup safety systems and protective barriers, including a thick steel and concrete containment building. For example, it is physically impossible for a nuclear power plant to explode because of the low concentration of fissionable uranium 235 in the fuel. The philosophy is carried forward in plant operations through extensive and continuous training of plant personnel.

An additional level of safety is provided through plant regulation by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, an independent federal agency. As a result of this safety-in-depth philosophy, even the 1979 Three Mile Island accident—the only major accident in the history of U.S. commercial nuclear energy—caused no injuries, deaths or discernible direct health effects to the population in the vicinity of the plant. The 1986 Chernobyl accident in the former Soviet Union was in part the product of a badly flawed plant reactor design which never would have been licensed in the United States.

The nuclear industry exercises the same degree of vigilance for safety in its handling, transportation and disposal of the relatively small and manageable amounts of high-level waste and low-level waste produced at nuclear power plants.


Nuclear Waste - The Answer is YES - As long as care is taken !

A NUCLEAR FUTURE ?

Nuclear power is a adequate solution to the energy problem. Renewable energy sources like wind, oceans, water, incineration and sun are not enough to cover the non-renewable resources of which the world will run out approximately within 50 to 100 years. According to Bernard Cohen (Professor of Physics at Pittsburgh University), by combining the sun and nuclear power we will have enough energy for several billion years. For example in the Far East search for new energy sources in Israel, it has resulted in many projects and researches. Those efforts have proven the fact that nuclear power is essential as a energy source especially in the future.
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