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Nuclear Energy

Nuclear power provides approximately one-fifth of the United State’s electricity. The advantages and disadvantages of nuclear energy continue to be a matter of debate and controversy. Despite the criticisms of nuclear energy, there are many advantages with respect to the environment, the economy and our future generations. Nuclear EnergyThe use of nuclear energy is becoming more wide spread. Currently, fission is used by many countries as a source of energy. There is a dangerous outcome of the negligent use of fission, as demonstrated by the problems with Chernobyl plant. As a result, many countries have slowed down their production of new nuclear power plants while looking for a safer way to create energy. Fusion energy comes from the heat produced by the combining of hydrogen atoms into helium atoms. Many people confuse this with fission, or the breakdown of uranium-235 into strontium-96 and xenon-138. Fusion, if properly developed, will provide a clean and almost unlimited source of energy. Fusion would be a preferable alternative to fission because it is more easily controlled (safer), causes less pollution, and produces fewer health problems. Fusion is the combination of elements that are readily available and non-toxic, unlike uranium, which is a difficult and expensive element to obtain.

An important advantage of using nuclear energy is that nuclear reactors produce electric power without burning fossil fuels such as coal or oil. The use of nuclear power helps to conserve the world's supply of these fuels. The world's known reserves of uranium contain as much energy as the world's known deposits of oil. As well, the uranium that has been used could be recycled in the future to make more energy.

Benefits of nuclear reactors are that they do not give off smoke or gases that pollute the air. Therefore, power can be generated without causing negative effects to the environment. In fact, nuclear energy produces small amounts of waste when compared with traditional energy sources. Along with the lack of waste produced, nuclear energy does not contribute to several major environmental threats such as the greenhouse effect and acid rain.

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