VIEWS: 5 PAGES: 4 POSTED ON: 12/10/2011
Affirmative Case 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 anymore. 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 energy. 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.