Deciding on the Future: Comparing the Environmental and Economic Advantages of Renewable Energy and Nuclear Power

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2018-11-15
Authors
Jones, Casey M.
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3
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Concerns over public health and environmental hazards from fossil fuel-based power plants have been prevalent topics of discussion in recent years. A shift towards cleaner forms of power is a priority for citizens, politicians, and industry leaders alike. Many forms of renewable energy have been developed recently, and some are currently available for large scale use. Nuclear power has developed to the point where it is both safe and efficient. But a negative public opinion has continually pushed nuclear power away from the discussion as a possible energy source, while less efficient forms of renewable energy have been promoted due to their lower effect on the environment despite their higher financial burden. Both nuclear power and renewable energy have their own unique advantages and disadvantages, and neither one can be considered a definitively better choice. The ultimate decision comes from whether people believe economic efficiency or environmental preservation is a higher priority, both now and in the future. In this essay, nuclear power is compared to different forms of renewable energy based on cost, environmental impact, and efficiency while addressing the most commonly seen public concerns. The results from the research show that nuclear power is more economical, offsetting fewer negative effects of fossil fuel-based power plants, while renewable energy has a larger positive impact on the environment, requiring a larger financial investment.
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