Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Science
  • Document length: 3479 words

Should the UK build more Nuclear Power Stations?

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Should the UK build more Nuclear Power Stations? Contents Page Introduction Page1 Background Information: Page2 * Fuels used in a Nuclear reactor Page2 * Nuclear Fission Page2-3 * Nuclear Waste Page3-4 * Building, Maintaining and Decommissioning a Nuclear Power Plant Page4-5 A "brief" summary of the argument for and against nuclear power stations being built in the UK Page5-7 Conclusion Page7-8 Bibliography Page8-9 Introduction In this case study I am going to try to figure out if the UK should build more nuclear power stations to keep up with rising demand for electricity because this is a subject close to me as I will have to be an adult in a world where fossil fuels are running out and my generation will have to find other, hopefully renewable sources of energy to continue our way of life, even if it is wasteful. To do this I must research other possible energy sources and the impact of using each singularly, or together, then I will see if the source is compatible with the UK, as there may not be sufficient land or the material and building costs may be too high. I will do this by reviewing websites such as the BBC and see if the source is reliable, I will do this by checking if they are a well known scientific group or publisher, I will also use my own knowledge and books such as the GCSE Science Higher text book. I will have to research the costs for building, maintenance and decommission, I will also have to research the dangers and the possible environmental impact in using nuclear power.

Middle

of electricity produced by nuclear power, taking into account the cost of building, maintaining and decommissioning power stations. 5 The Royal Academy of Engineers' figures shown above are some of the most optimistic, and are similar to quotes by the nuclear industry for a new generation of reactors. A 2002 UK government report said the power from Sizewell B, the most recently built reactor, costs 6p/kWh. By 2020 it is estimated that the cost would have dropped to 3-4p/kWh, although the anti-nuclear New Economics Foundation said that such costs are dramatically underestimated and could cost twice as much. British Energy estimated that overall the cost of operating its power stations from April-September 2007 was 2.6p/kWh. Behind these variations lies a series of costs which are difficult to quantify. Nuclear construction costs have a history of exploding over budget and past decommissioning bills have been large, although, proponents say better technology will bring financial improvements to both areas. Basically, while the initial costs are high, the cost of nuclear power doesn't fluctuate and spiral with uranium prices in the way that electricity from fossil fuels do.5 A "brief" summary of the argument for and against nuclear power stations being built in the UK. Nuclear power generation emits low amounts of "carbon dioxide and the emissions of green house gasses"; therefore the contribution of nuclear power plants to global warming is relatively small. Also the technology is ready and available, meaning it does not have to be developed first and it is possible to generate a high amount of electricity from a single plant.6 Also, although Chernobyl was the worst nuclear accident in history it is still not a convincing argument as, technically,

Conclusion

However, wind could also be a good combination along with nuclear power as wind farms are quick and cheap to build, but cost a lot in maintenance and could possibly be an eyesore (OH NO) while nuclear power stations take a long time to build and are expensive, yet maintenance is relatively easy and cheap, although decommissioning nuclear power stations can take a long time and cost a lot, as well as contaminating the ground on which it has been built. Whereas Greenpeace disagree, saying "Nuclear power is a dangerous distraction from the real solutions to tackling climate change. It is a relic of an out of date, centralised and wasteful energy system and will leave a lethal legacy of radioactive contamination for many thousands of years. Currently two thirds of our energy from power stations in the UK is lost through wasted heat - up the chimneys and down the power lines - because it's produced a long way from where it's needed. We need to generate power closer to where it is required, allowing us to use both the heat for central heating and hot water, and the electricity for our other needs. This is known as a decentralised energy system. If we combined decentralised energy generation with renewable energy and energy efficiency it could deliver 30 per cent larger carbon dioxide savings than building new nuclear power stations. If we truly want to tackle climate change, now is the time to look forward, not back. We urgently need to embrace a cleaner, cheaper and more efficient energy solution to our problems and leave the outdated, unreliable and dangerous nuclear technology back in the last century, where it belongs.

The above preview is unformatted text

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • Over 150,000 essays available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Over 180,000 student essays
  • Every subject and level covered
  • Thousands of essays marked by teachers

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Changing Materials - The Earth and its Atmosphere essays

  1. Are fossil fuels being overused?

    Car's like this would really help the economy on the whole, especially if it eventually became the law to drive a hybrid, and the world was rid of fuel powered cars, anyway back to oil. As I was saying, I am going to use evidence and opinions to see whether using crude oil is harmful to the environment.

  2. Nuclear Waste and Radiation

    Then it is multiplied by a factor which has an approximation of the sensitivity cells to the type of radiation. (1) There are many hazardous consequences that come along with nuclear radiation and its wastes, from increasing risks of getting cancer to people within contact with radiation or the productions of nuclear weapons; atomic bombs and etc.

  1. Plastics- A Benefit or a Disaster? (Science research coursework)

    The molecules in thermoplastic are often tangled around each other which make the polymer flexible. There are also weak forces of attraction between the molecules. When the thermoplastic polymer is heated up, these forces are broken and the molecules slide past each other. This allows the polymer to be remoulded.

  2. Should the UK government continue to invest in Nuclear power?

    * Proliferation: Some forms of nuclear reactor, known as "breeder" reactors produce plutonium, which can be used to make nuclear weapons. There are other reactors which do not have this problem, but it is another issue which must be addressed before the possibility of a nuclear future can be taken seriously.

  1. Alternative Energy Research Essay

    SOLAR energy can be converted to electrical energy by two methods: SOLAR Thermal/Electric Power Plants or by using Photovoltaic (PV) Cells. SOLAR Thermal/Electric Power Plants generate electricity by focusing sunlight to heat a fluid and produce steam which powers a generator.

  2. We are being advised to reduce our carbon footprint. Discuss the significance of this ...

    Carbon labels have yet to become as widely recognised by consumers as other eco-labels. Adding a carbon label to a product is a complex and often costly process that involves tracing its ingredients back up their respective supply chains and through their manufacturing processes, to work out their associated emissions."

  1. Alternative Energy Sources

    than the fuel produced; * Wood biomass requires 57 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced. In terms of energy output compared with the energy input for biodiesel production, the study found that: * Soybean plants require 27 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced, and * Sunflower

  2. Are mans activitys affecting global warming

    The Polar Bear is one species that will be extinct by simple means: Its main food source the Sea Lion used to be trapped on large chunks of ice, but now there is more water than ice, so it is easy for the prey to escape and so secure its own survival.

  • Over 180,000 essays
    written by students
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to write
    your own great essays

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.