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By Staff Writer

In the United States, there are just over 100 commercial nuclear power plants. They produce 806.2 Terra Watt hours of electricity, which is about 20 percent of the entire electricity generated in 2008. There is no doubt that the potential of nuclear energy is huge, even though nuclear energy plants have their critics.

As we transition to renewable energy, we need sources of energy that are just as reliable and low cost as oil and natural gas.  We have made big improvements on our transition to renewables, but we still have a long way to go.  Nuclear energy generation, in and of itself, is a relatively green source of energy, when compared to

Right now, nuclear accounts for over 60 percent of all energy generated from sources outside of fossil fuels.  If we are serious about moving beyond fossil fuels, we are going to need more nuclear plants. Nuclear plants take up less space than solar or wind farms.  A nuclear plant can generate energy up to a 1100 megawatt capacity.  It would take a wind farm covering five times the surface area or a solar farm covering ten times the surface area to match that power generation.

Russia, China, and India are among the countries that have been relying on Nuclear energy, and they have plans to use this type of energy far into the future.  Even though there is enough Uranium to power reactors for the next 80 years, Russia, China, and India all have plans to transfer over to Thorium as a replacement energy source for Uranium.

Despite the fact that it is moderately expenseive to set up nuclear power plants, the cost of operating a plant is actually pretty low. The normal life of nuclear reactor is anywhere from 40-60 years. That depends on how often and how the reactor is being used.  All things considered, the cost of delivering this form of power over the span of a few decades is pretty low.

Those who live or work near nuclear power plants have favorable attitudes toward nuclear energy, surprisingly more so than the general U.S. public.  Bisconti Research found that 83 percent of nuclear plant neighbors favor the use of nuclear energy.  By comparison, 68 percent of the general public surveyed in February of 2016 felt the same way.

As we learn to harness the power of nuclear fusion, the generation of nuclear energy gives us a potentially unlimited source of energy. The waste generated from nuclear energy can be put to work as a source of additional power. Research into nuclear fusion is ongoing, and a breakthrough can make a huge difference for the energy market in the future.

References:

http://energyinformative.org/nuclear-energy-pros-and-cons/

http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/pros-and-cons-of-nuclear-energy.php

https://www.nei.org/Knowledge-Center/Public-Opinion

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