My partner and I stand in strong affirmation to the resolution “Resolved: On balance, the
benefits of nuclear power outweigh the risks.”
My partner and I will be demonstrating how nuclear power’s benefits outweigh the risks by
using the following three contentions: One: Nuclear power provides numerous economic
benefits, two: nuclear power has more advantages over alternatives, and three: current energy
is not doing its job efficiently.
Contention one: Nuclear power provides numerous economic benefits.
A. Nuclear Power will provide more career opportunities. Nuclear power has
provided 792,000 people with jobs when creating the plants and 308,000 with long term
employment. These jobs represent a range of opportunities, being paid substantially
higher than the average worker. This is important because the unemployment rate is
getting lower each year, by opening a new nuclear power plant we are providing people
the opportunity to go back to work and help sustain the economy again.
B. Nuclear Power is cost-effective. The cost of producing nuclear-generated
electricity in 2007 was 1.7 cents per kilowatt-hour, compared with 2.4 cents for coal, 6.7
cents for natural gas and 10.2 cents for oil. In other words, the cost of nuclear-
generated electricity was nearly one-third less than power produced at a natural gas
plant. Nuclear power is too important to be allowed to stall. The fate of our nation's
economic health depends on it. By switching to nuclear power we are spending a lot less
than we were before for coal or oil. America is addicted to oil which caused them to
spend more money than necessary. This causes not only American’s to be able to have
cost efficient power but any other county that cannot afford to rely on oil or coal
Contention two: Nuclear power has more advantages over alternatives.
Renewable energy may seem effective since it can never run out but every renewable has
disadvantages that make it less than attractive compared to nuclear power including solar,
wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass, and ocean energy. So let’s take a look at solar and
wind. Solar energy’s big disadvantage is that it requires constant sunlight; therefore, it does
not work at night or on cloudy days. Another is that solar energy cannot be stored and solar
panels usually create an excess of energy so the majority of the energy it creates just burns up
and never gets used. Wind energy’s disadvantage is that it requires constant wind, in most
areas there is no wind blowing to make the energy needed to power homes or cities. Also,
currently wind power is not generating enough energy to be sufficient to power large cities. The
largest wind turbine can only power 475 homes; there is no possible way for wind to power
entire cities. This is important because when there are cities that are relying only on wind or
solar then those cities have no power when it’s a cloudy or calm day. This causes problems
because most renewable energies are not available all the time or all day long unlike nuclear
Contention three: Current energy is not doing its job effectively.
A: Nuclear Power is more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels. Nuclear power can
be considered a clean source of energy despite the waste it produces. It does not contribute to
global warming as it gives off no carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The Exelon Corporation are
one of the groups working to create new technologies that will make nuclear power a safer and
more environmentally friendly source of energy because they believe it is a necessary source
for the reduction of climate change. Due to the fact that the environment affects us each and
every day, switching to nuclear energy would be beneficial to the environment, and will ensure
that we preserve the lives of our future generations.
B: Nuclear energy solves many problems fossil fuel does not.
In a reactor being developed by Argonne National Laboratory in the US, almost 100% of
the transuranic nuclear wastes produced through neutron capture can be caused to fission.
Generally, the fission products created have shorter half-lives and are not as dangerous. This
reactor, dubbed EBR-II, uses liquid sodium as a coolant, which means that the internal reactor
temperature is much, much hotter than that of a normal PWR reactor, which uses water as a
coolant. Another advantage of EBR-II is that its fuel is not weapons grade quality. When the
transuranic wastes are separated from the other wastes in the spent fuel rods, the resultant
mix of isotopes cannot be used in a bomb. Therefore, it cannot be stolen by a terrorist group
for use in an explosive device. Breeder reactors "breed" fuel, this "waste" can then be used as
fuel. This solves many problems including terrorism, meltdown issues, and waste issues. By
using this ready technology we can solve more problems than fossil fuel can cause.
So as you can clearly see, the many numerous benefits of nuclear energy outweigh the
risks, and it is for these reasons that we urge a pro ballot.