Whenever we turn on a computer, a cell phone, a stove, a radio; light a match; get an x-ray for a broken leg, have a CAT-scan; run a nuclear power plant, explode a hydrogen bomb, focus a laser beam, or put on sunscreen, we are trying to tame electromagnetic radiation. When it is your friend, it is being used by your TV to present glowing images on a screen, or being used to pop popcorn in that bag in the microwave. Right now, friendly electromagnetic radiation is in the lightbulb above you. When it is your foe, it is in the form of X-Rays, Gamma Rays, or even "Galactic Cosmic Rays" which can penetrate the cells of your body and create cancers.
Friend or foe to renewable energy?
In the discussion over the direction of clean energy, solar and wind figure heavily but now nuclear power is increasingly proposed as a complement to renewable energy.
Sierra Club President Michael Brune second from right says that nuclear power is expensive and not safe, while others argue that the technology is mature and disposal issues can be dealt with.
At the Fortune Brainstorm Green conference here, nuclear power has frequently entered the discussion over the future of clean energy. Prompted by government policies, utilities are investing in wind and solar power but there are limits to what renewable power can do, say people in the industry.
When environmentalists say that clean energy can supply all electricity needs in the near future, they're being idealistic, said David Crane, the CEO of utility NRG Energy, which has invested in solar and wind, but is seeking to build a nuclear power plant in Texas.
Compared to carbon capture and underground storage at coal plants, nuclear is more mature, he said. We need low-carbon or no-carbon baseload generation in this country. Nuclear power plants can work round the clock and don't have carbon emissions during operation, which is the primary reason that environmentalist Stewart Brand now backs nuclear.
There is also the issue of cost. Nuclear, wind, and solar are all more expensive than generating electricity with natural gas at its current prices, said Crane. But if government policies do not include support for nuclear power, such as loan guarantees, then utilities will move to natural gas because it is less polluting than coal.
But if you take nuclear out of the equation, the choice is not 50 percent renewable, the choice is taking natural gas to 40 or 50 percent," said James Connaughton, executive vice president for corporate affairs, public affairs, and environmental policy at utility Constellation Energy.
He projects a "symbiosis" between nuclear, natural gas, and renewable in the decades ahead where scaling up each power source will lower costs. Environmental group the Sierra Club "enthusiastically" opposes nuclear power for a number of reasons, including its high cost, risks of handling nuclear waste, and risk of proliferation of weapons, said Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club.
That's not a compelling reason, we need to rise to a challenge as a species, as a country. Those groups expected that an energy and climate bill--now being crafted by the Senate--would include support for nuclear but not a huge expansion because of the costs, waste disposal, and proliferation risks of nuclear, said Frances Beineke, the president of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Nuclear, which now accounts for about 20 percent of power generation in the U. Solar, wind cheaper than nukes? Policy questions aside, there is still an ongoing question over what the impact of technology improvements can have on the adoption rate of solar and wind, compared to other potential sources.
Bill Gross, the CEO of solar thermal company eSolar, is optimistic that solar can generate 20 percent of electricity in the U. It's very hard to store electrons. It's easy to store heat so we can get a capacity factor of 60 to 65 percent," he said.
Oil giant BP has diversified into alternative energy because it sees a growing demand for energy across the world in the next 20 years. It has decided to focus its efforts on biofuels, solar, wind, and carbon, capture, and storage. Which one will scale up quickest? Governments need to be very clear on the rules and the rules need to be lasting," she said.Nuclear Power: Friend or Foe ; The Energy from a Nuclear Weapon ; Nuclear Weapons ; Nuclear Energy: Should We Use It ; Nuclear Power as a form of clean energy ; Should We Worry about the Nuclear Power ; send me this sample.
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Protons, Neutrons & Electrons Oh My!
What did Rutherford’s Experiment (and YOUR Rutherford simulation lab) tell us about atomic structure? Nov 11, · Nuclear energy is the energy released during a nuclear fission or fusion.
Nowadays, 15% of the energy that is being generated comes from nuclear power plants which are fascinating because nuclear energy is a clean source of. Transcript of Nuclear Power,Friend or Foe?
Nuclear power is a form of energy that is a safe and clean alternate to fossil regardbouddhiste.comr power is created at nuclear reactors through many methods designed to be as safe and efficient as possible.
The Fukushima nuclear power plant was installed to prevent metre-high tsunamis from wreaking havoc in the city but the emergence of a 14 metre tsunami was the cause of the plant’s destruction. The disadvantages of nuclear power: produces radioactive waste, which causes radiation poisoning, if not stored safely.
Also there is a “possibility of deliberate sabotage in the form of terrorism.” The author mentions a nuclear accident that took place on April 26, , when the power .