My post this week focuses on the utilization of nuclear energy as a viable energy source for the future. The process of nuclear fusion (slamming two lighter molecules into one to create a heavier molecule while harnessing the energy released in the collision), is the same process that is employed by our sun. In addition to having the potential to provide an almost unlimited source of renewable energy, nuclear fusion emits no pollutants or greenhouse gasses. Nuclear fusion is currently utilized in 47 out of 50 states and this trend represents a positive step towards transitioning the United States away from fossil fuels. While the risks for meltdowns and other failures in the operating systems of these reactors is still a possibility, advancing technology in the building of such reactors has significantly marginalized the percentage of failure. This is important because as it exists today, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that nuclear energy accounts for about 20% of the total energy produced in the United States. So while we have already made nuclear energy an established part of energy production in the United States, we have many structural, engineering, and ethical questions that will need to be answered in the future before we can fully begin the discussing about leaving fossil fuels behind.
I found this post really interesting, especially given that I also discussed the issue of nuclear energy. It is true that nuclear fusion is a very efficient and powerful method of energy production, yet the risks are still there in terms of nuclear meltdown. Additionally, while the process emits no pollutants or greenhouse gases, there is still the issue of the radioactive waste byproduct. I agree with you, additional research and development is needed in this field, and we’ve made significant strides already towards those ends. Nuclear energy may very well be the future of U.S. energy demands, but not yet.
I found your post very interesting in emphasizing the benefits of nuclear energy. Given that there is no pollutants or greenhouses gases released is a huge advantage to nuclear energy as opposed to other options. However, in my opinion, it is very difficult to overlook the dangers that nuclear energy also encompasses. The radioactive waste is not disposed of, and even though the chances of a catastrophic event to occur is so small, it is still there. It is difficult to say whether it is worth the risk, before more research is done to hopefully be able to minimize this risk
I didn’t know that nuclear energy is first accounted for 20% of Americas energy and secondly implemented in 47 of the 50 states! I understand that it is a great renewable energy source but I still find the risk of a wrongly operated plant to completely outweigh it’s sustainability potential. Plus, the radioactive waste builds up and there is no method of which it can be disposed.
I really liked that your post was positive in looking at nuclear energy, and then you ended it by saying that more things need to be considered before we make a full switch — and I completely agree. I think you bring up good points about ethics, bc as Justin wrote, it is very dangerous to live near a nuclear plant, and the waste that nuclear energy creates is very harmful, however I do like that slowly but surely, we as a country are making the move away from fossil fuels.