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SHOULD MORE NUCLEAR POWER STATIONS BE BUILT IN BRITAIN?

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Introduction

Anisa Shah 11a1

PHYSICS CASE STUDY – SHOULD MORE NUCLEAR POWER STATIONS BE BUILT IN BRITAIN?

Introduction

There are many types of different energy sources that are both renewable and non-renewable; these will all have various advantages as well as disadvantages. Around 70% of energy comes from the burning of fossil fuels. 10% of the energy we use today is renewable, which then leaves 20% for nuclear power. Problems occur from the percentage of nuclear power being used, and whether this number should be increased or not causes various issues.

In my case study, I will outline the possible sources of energy that can be used if nuclear power is dominant. I will also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using nuclear power in Britain, and what other options are available instead. Evidence will be shown from different sources that have reasoning for and against the use of nuclear power. This will be from various organisations that have a strong opinion on this subject of discussion.

From the points I make, I will come to a conclusion of whether nuclear power should be used in the future or whether we should change to using sources of coal and renewable sources of energy. The British Government are for nuclear power being used as a source of energy, Gordon Brown agrees with this and the idea of nuclear movement.

How does nuclear power work?

Nuclear power generation does not involve the burning of any fossil fuels, which means no carbon emissions are released from it. Nuclear power is generated in power stations, as the process of fission is used. Fission takes place in the fuels rods, which contains Uranium-235, this makes it very hot. Fuel rods are not radioactive until they have been put inside a reactor.

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Middle

Reliability of source: it is a quotation from a member of Planet Save organisation; however it does not say who said it. The website is only away of the positives, and does not mention any of the negatives such as the waste products. (7 out of 10)

The World Nuclear Association:

“Sun, wind, tides and waves cannot be controlled to provide directly continuous base load power, or peak-load power when it is needed. In practical terms they are therefore limited to some 10-20% of the capacity of an electricity grid, and cannot directly be applied as economic substitutes for nuclear power, however it is important that they may become in particular areas with favourable conditions”

http://en.wikipedia.ord/wiki/Nuclear_power_debate

This quote is implying that all other sources of energy are not good enough or as efficient compared to nuclear power. It is also saying that the renewable sources will not be able to successfully fulfil the countries needs of electricity. This has been proven in some aspects as only 10% of energy sources are renewable.

Reliability of source: the quote is a reference from the World Nuclear Association which is a very highly respected organisation. Therefore, this quote can be considered very reliable. It also gives a clear idea that they have a goal to reach with nuclear power, and they may be slightly against other energy sources. (8 out of 10)

The World Health Organisation:

“3 million people are killed worldwide by outdoor air pollution annually from vehicles and industrial emissions, and 1.6 millions indoors through using solid fuel”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_debate

This quote is saying that fossil fuels are very dangerous and should not be used as they are contributing to many deaths that wouldn’t necessarily occur if they were to use nuclear power.

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Conclusion

I gave each of the sources used in my case study a reliability grade out of 10. Most of the sources for both sides of the argument were about 7. This rate of reliability made my decision that nuclear power plants should have a place in our future. This is because the benefits outweigh the risks and disadvantages.

I think that nuclear power stations should be a sustainable energy source in the future. I think this because fossil fuels will soon come to an end, and nuclear energy is the best source. When this does occur, the country will panic and then have to pay out a lot of money to import coal from other countries. However, if we slowly start to build more nuclear power stations then this wouldn’t be a problem. Burning fossil fuels is dangerous for our environment. A further idea would be to keep some of the coal power stations running even if more nuclear power stations are built and therefore if nuclear power is not as sustainable then burning coal will still be available to produce electricity. Nuclear power seems like a good option considering the risks and benefits, and it will not come to an end.

Bibliography:

Books:

OCR Oxford 21st Century GCSE Physics Textbook by Peter Campbell, David Sang and Robin Millar.

Websites:

http://www.world-nuclear.org/outlook/clean_energy_need.html?chart - (graph)

http://planetsave.com/blog/2008/01/15/devils-advocate-10-green-arguments-for-nuclear-power/

http://www.world-nuclear.org/Christopher_Crane_speeches/Exelon_html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5172130.stm

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/campaigns/nuclear

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