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A comparison of efficiency between nuclear power and fossil fuel power

However, krypton-85 can be removed from exhaust gases by cyrogenic cooling. The Earth appears to have the capacity to absorb carbon dioxide emissions at a level of 3 gigatons per year, although the exact level of tolerance and absorption is uncertain.

Today's emissions total about 9 gigatons, about two-thirds of which is due to fossil fuels.

  1. In addition, technology, accessibility and existing infrastructures favor the fossil fuel plants as compared to nuclear power plants.
  2. In my analysis I am going to ignore the cost of the operation and maintenance because the two costs are going to be very close. Nuclear fission provides energy without releasing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.
  3. Nuclear power has advantages in many areas, including some that have been traditionally viewed as problems. In other words, how much it actually costs to build each plant.

The remainder is the result of biomass burning. Besides carbon dioxide emissions, fossil fuel mining and technologies for controlling emissions other than carbon dioxide to the air and water contribute to environmental degradation, which is often very severe in its local and regional impacts.

Nuclear Energy Vs. Fossil Fuel

Further, fossil fuel use in the present mode presents risks of climate change that are not yet well understood, but may be catastrophic and irreversible. Of the fossil fuels, natural gas provides the highest level of energy content per unit of carbon emissions. However, natural gas could not by itself fulfill global energy requirements with current technology, especially taking into account that the energy needs for a majority of the world's population are unmet today.

Moreover, natural gas methane leakage from pipelines contributes to global warming to a much greater although not well understood extent than carbon dioxide on a molecule-for-molecule basis.

Electricity: Nuclear vs. Fossil

Under today's conditions, nuclear power has far lower routine emissions than energy from burning fossil fuels. However, it presents hazards of its own, notably the risk of accidents like Chernobyl, with severe, long-lasting consequences over huge regions.

  • Nuclear energy requires much less materials than coal energy;
  • As an example, the energy density, charging issues and the associated costs are impeding factors when utilizing batteries for transportation.

In addition, the security risks posed by large inventories of nuclear weapons-usable materials have no counterpart in fossil fuels. Clearly, neither nuclear nor fossil fuel use is currently conducive to sound environmental and security policy. In addition, neither breeder reactors nor renewables the two possible sources of an indefinite energy supply are economical at present fuel prices so as to immediately constitute the basis of global energy supply.

What are the options for a safe, sustainable, and ecological energy supply for the future? If fossil fuel use can be reduced and biomass burning done on a renewable basis so that emissions are below 3 gigatons per year of carbon, fossil fuels would be a sounder form of energy than nuclear, but would need to be accompanied by other energy sources.

Economical, environmentally-sound carbon sinks, which would allow carbon dioxide to be absorbed and stored or disposed of without being released to the atmosphere as a gas, could also make fossil fuels a better energy source.

Nuclear Fuel vs. Fossil Fuel

Fossil fuels can be used at reduced levels as transition fuels to a renewable energy economy, or at higher levels if carbon sinks prove to be economical. Natural gas could serve as a transition fuel to hydrogen derived from solar energy, since the infrastructure for use would be similar for the two gaseous fuels.

  • This energy is released through fission splitting atoms or fusion merging of atoms to form a larger atom;
  • Given the long life of some of the transuranic elements Nuclear Waste has to be stored in a safe manner for thousands of years which is a tough given that the chances of leakage become enormous in such a long time scale.

Natural gas can be complemented by renewable energy sources such as solar energy, biomass fuels renewably produced and usedand wind energy. Wind energy and solar energy are economical under some circumstances such as areas with high wind speed or high insolation and low precipitation. Moderate fossil fuel use with engineering measures to prevent releases of carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere and renewable energy sources joined with increased energy efficiency measures provide the best alternative for economical, sustainable energy in the future.

  • People also believe that nuclear power plants emit radiation that causes cancer and for this reason nuclear power plants should be discontinued;
  • Natural gas could serve as a transition fuel to hydrogen derived from solar energy, since the infrastructure for use would be similar for the two gaseous fuels;
  • A Roadmap, Worldwatch Inst, 2008 [2] A.