Nuclear Energy Continues to Struggle

One point that our current president made very clear during his campaign is the decline of the coal industry. Increased environmental regulations and a decline in the price of natural gas have made burning coal impractical and inefficient. Another source of energy that is often overlooked is Nuclear energy. Nuclear power is struggling to expand its share of the market; an article in Axios, claims that the market share for nuclear power has hovered just below 20% for the past decade. Nuclear energy growth has been stagnant compared to the rapid growth of clean energy sources. Advocates of nuclear power have gave financial support to struggling nuclear power plants in New York and Illinois. People are reluctant to expand the use of nuclear energy because of the safety concerns present. Two of the most infamous nuclear reactor disasters occurred at Fukushima and Chernobyl. Many are skeptical and worried about the aftermath if an issue ever occurred at a nuclear reactor in the United States. However nuclear energy has become safer, more reliable and more efficient over the past two decades. Nuclear energy has extremely high energy outputs. For example, China is expanding their use of nuclear energy to supply energy to its immense population; over half of the nuclear reactors being built are in China. The major impediment for the growth of nuclear energy is cost and time; projects are slow and very expensive.

One Response to Nuclear Energy Continues to Struggle

  1. DC November 11, 2017 at 12:32 pm #

    As stated in the article, the president has decided that the coal industry will be declining. Gas prices are low, and environmental regulations make it less cost effective to use coal for energy. That leaves few other energy sources for options. Wind, water, electric, solar, and nuclear power are options. As described in the article, the U.S. hasn’t expanded its nuclear energy for several years. This energy option would provide immense energy with little pollution. China is one of the world leaders in nuclear energy and is one year away from running the world’s most powerful nuclear generator which can help deliver power to China’s large population. Nuclear energy most likely brings fear to the public. The word “nuclear” has a negative connotation and is often associated with atomic bombs. However, nuclear magnetic resonance, otherwise known as MRI, is a common diagnostic tool in medicine. The word nuclear refers to the nucleus of atoms and does not imply atomic bombs or other dangers. Until the public can get over their fear of nuclear energy, this energy source may not be taken advantage of.
    Other energy sources are being used in the U.S. such as electric and solar. The topic of global warming and harmful greenhouse gases have been brought to the public’s attention. As a result, car companies such as Tesla have started producing electric cars to avoid carbon dioxide emissions. Solar power is also becoming more common as people are installing solar panels on their houses and buildings. The Philadelphia Eagle’s stadium has gone green and installed solar panels and wind turbines in their stadium as well. Eventually, perhaps energy will be obtained through a variety of sources in the United States. Wind turbines may be installed in windy areas and solar panels in sunny areas. Perhaps if China’s nuclear energy plant is a success, America will become on board with nuclear energy and use that as a source. No matter the source, America will attempt to avoid the use of coal due to its environmental effects and high cost.

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