Dear Future President,
Nuclear Energy, the ability to utilize the almighty power of the atom itself. Scientists spending long hours trying to figure out if the positives outweigh the negatives. Many people across the planet are debating the same thing. I believe that we should take advantage of this before it is too late. We can do this by revising the Atomic Energy Act of 1954. This tells nuclear power plants the guidelines they need to follow in order to continue production. The Atomic Energy Act of 1954 was drafted and amended in 1954; it needs to be revised due to the drastic change in technology we have implemented. The guidelines are as follows, “The Act requires that civilian uses of nuclear materials and facilities be licensed", and it empowers the NRC to establish by rule or order, and to enforce, such standards to govern these uses as "the Commission may deem necessary or desirable in order to protect health and safety and minimize danger to life or property."
According to the World Nuclear Association, radiation from nuclear power plants is not dangerous. “Commercial nuclear power plants in the United States have produced electricity for over half a century, and there have been no radiation-related deaths linked to their operation.” That is pretty astonishing since the amount of radiation from this is drastically weaker than what we get from the sun. Based on research from the Nuclear Energy Institute it is safer to work in a nuclear plant than in real estate. “U.S. nuclear power plants effectively protect the public’s health and safety. Nuclear plants also are safe for workers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is safer to work at a nuclear plant than at a fast food restaurant or a grocery store or in real estate…”. Containment technology and many advances in efficiency and use of materials has made nuclear energy the best non-renewable resource on the market today. Nuclear plants do in fact give off radiation, but the amount will astonish you, the amount given off is around 0.01 millirems and if you compare that to the annual total from background sources, which is 300 millirems, it shows that nuclear power gives off radiation around 30,000 times weaker.
With this mindset in place, many people don’t take nuclear energy seriously and fear it. According to ProCon.org, if you live within 50 miles from a nuclear power plant, you would receive an average radiation dose of 0.01 millirems. An operating nuclear power plant actually produce very small amounts of radioactive liquids and gases. The only part that is radioactive and produced in large amounts is the reactant, which the removal and disposal of is completely safe and secure.
Concerned reactions are based on historic anomalies. The three most infamous nuclear plant meltdowns are as follows: Chernobyl, Fukushima, and Three Mile Island. It is better to learn from these mistakes in order to progress further in nuclear energy. Ever since those occurred, there have been numerous advancements in technology, be it containment, efficiency or just improvement upon existing protocols.
Sure you could argue that nuclear energy is not a clean, safe, or affordable form of energy, but this act has some very good parts to it. One of them is that it limits the military’s use of nuclear devices and weapons such as nuclear missiles, but it also limits industrial use of nuclear energy, such as building nuclear power plants. Another argument is that the prevention of use of nuclear energy protects the peace. But, in reality not using this makes people want to use it more. If someone tells you not to look down, most people will look down. It is better to use it to progress the country in a positive way.
By at the very least revising the Atomic Act of 1954, I propose we could really improve things around the nation. Due the vast quantity of materials that can be utilized to produce energy, we could get rid of many of the non-renewables that threaten to run out of materials to utilize. We will soon run out of fossil fuels, but it will be a very long time until we run out of radioactive materials. This is due to Uranium and Plutonium having multiple isotopes that we can utilize for energy production.
It ultimately comes down to you and what you envision for America, be it a prosperous nation that utilizes this technology and improves upon it as time goes on, or a nation that is depending upon a form of energy production whose flame is threatening to go out forever. Sincerely,
“Myths &Amp; Facts About Safety.” The Nuclear Energy Institute, 24 Apr. 2012, http://alternativeenergy.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionid=001270.
“Safety of Nuclear Power Reactors.” World Nuclear Association, May 2016, http://world-nuclear.org/information-library/safety-and-security/safety-of-plants/safety-of-nuclear-power-reactors.aspx#ecsarticlelink12
“Atomic Energy Act of 1954.” U.S NRC, Unites States Nuclear Regulatory Comission, http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/governing-laws.html
“‘Why Nuclear.’” Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, 15 Dec. 2008, http://alternativeenergy.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionid=001270.
“On-Site Storage of Nuclear Waste.” Nuclear Energy Institute, Nuclear Energy Institute, http://www.nei.org/knowledge-center/nuclear-statistics/on-site-storage-of-nuclear-waste.