Nuclear energy offers solution, less risks

After President Obama’s visit to discuss energy policy for our nation’s future, I decided to research the issue for myself and develop thoughts of my own.

I found that the United States currently garners a vast majority of its energy from non-renewable sources like petroleum, coal and natural gas. Although these are considered cheap sources of energy, the vision behind them is short-sighted.

Continued use of these non-renewable resources is not a good investment for the future. These sources of energy emit significant quantities of carbon, which in turn fuel climate change.

An ideal scenario is to invest in solar power, but the implementation of solar energy to power our society is not practical because it is costly. However, while solar energy may not be feasible now, it is the best long-term solution.

To attain this, there will be a need for a nuclear renaissance.

There has been no ground broken for new nuclear reactors in more than 30 years. A revival in nuclear energy calls for the construction of new nuclear reactors that will fuel our country’s energy needs until solar energy becomes an option.

A mass construction of nuclear reactors across the nation would provide vast economic benefits.

This is something that should be pursued, especially in the current economy. Job creation is first, followed by a growth in the local economy. Nuclear energy would also present lower costs for households and businesses on their electric bill.

Of course there are always those who are hesitant to use nuclear power for safety concerns, but they should take into account that there have only been three major nuclear accidents in history (Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima).

Nuclear power presents a minute risk in comparison to a continued use of non-renewable energy sources. Without it, the future will need some recharging.


Raymond La is a freshman majoring in microbiology.