Kush P. New York

Nuclear Energy

Fossil fuels are destroying our environment and putting people in danger. We should work toward the majority of our energy being generated by nuclear power.

Dear Mr. or Mrs. President,

At this moment, the Energy Information Administration states that approximately sixty-six percent of all of the electricity in the United States is generated by coal and natural gas. The emissions from these fossils fuels damage our environment, our health and our country. Nuclear energy makes up about twenty percent. This number is far too low. Fossil fuels have served us well, but it’s time to put them aside. Nuclear power is far more efficient and is less damaging to the earth. I believe that the government should increase investment in nuclear power in the United States by at least 50% per year, in order to fund, secure and build nuclear power plants, with an overall goal of having the majority of our energy come from nuclear sources.

Despite what many people believe, nuclear energy is far safer than energy produced by fossil fuels. Those who oppose nuclear energy often cite accidents such as Chernobyl or Fukushima. They don’t consider the fact that in the United States 10,000 people are killed per trillion kilowatt-hour of energy produced by coal. On the other hand, 0.01 people are killed per trillion kilowatt-hour of energy produced by nuclear sources. These numbers, provided by Forbes, show the truth of this very serious situation. Accidents involving fossil fuels are far more common than accidents involving nuclear energy, though the latter are more high profile. This may be because they are less common, or because of a perception of increased risk. Fossil fuels also cause dangerous weather conditions, such as smog and acid rain, which can kill people and erode infrastructure. The truth is that nuclear power kills only rarely, whereas coal, natural gas, and petroleum kill on a regular basis.

The pollution that is generated by burning fossil fuels is a significant threat to humanity and the planet. The amount of carbon dioxide currently in the atmosphere is one-third higher than it had ever been before humans started burning fossil fuels, according to NASA. This and other greenhouse gases cause unnatural warming of the earth. This warming could melt arctic and antarctic ice and raise ocean levels, devastating coastal population centers. As I live in one of these population centers, this has me concerned. This problem is not created by nuclear power plants. They don’t release carbon dioxide, or any other greenhouse gases. The byproduct of the fission process, nuclear waste, is mostly comprised of Uranium-238 . However, the used fuel rods also contain the original fuel, Uranium-235, and Plutonium. These can be recycled and reused as fresh fuel, as detailed by the World Nuclear Association. Whereas the waste from fossil fuels helps destroy the planet, nuclear waste can be stored or recycled with little consequence.

Despite the protests of many, it is known that nuclear energy is the most promising alternative to fossil fuels. It is the most efficient fuel source that we know of, and produces a huge amount of energy. It is also the first step in repairing the earth. It could help stave off global warming, prevent air pollution and save our people and cities from acid rain. Nuclear power is safe, far safer than fossil fuels, and it could represent one of our only opportunities to save the planet. Nuclear power was first utilized for war, but it should now be used for survival. The ultimate goal would be to phase fossil fuels out entirely, replacing it with nuclear power and renewable energy. This is why the government should increase our investment in nuclear energy by at least 50%.


Kush P.

Ballston Spa High School

AP 12

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