Nuclear Energy Research Paper

As anyone who experienced Los Angeles smog in the 1960s and 1970s can attest, the Clean Air Act has been huge for the air we breathe.On carbon dioxide emissions, the progress is mixed, but the influx of cheap natural gas, energy efficiency, and a growing menu of clean energy technologies suggest promise.

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More broadly, a well-functioning domestic civil nuclear “ecosystem” is intertwined with our space and military nuclear capabilities, such as the reactors that power our aircraft carriers and submarines.

Finally, we shouldn’t discount that nuclear power plants are today being built at an unprecedented rate by developing countries in Asia and the Middle East, driven by power demands for their growing industries and increasingly wealthy populations.

But here are some facts: We know that our country’s dominance in civilian nuclear power has been a key part of America’s ability to set norms and rules not just for power plants in less stable places around the world but also for the control of nuclear weapon proliferation.

We know that it’s an important technology-intensive export industry too: America invented the technology, and the United States today remains the world’s largest nuclear power generator, with nearly a quarter of global plants (more if you count the hundred power reactors aboard our navy ships at sea).

Our takeaway from all of this is that for perhaps the first time in modern history, we find ourselves with breathing room on the energy front.

We are no longer simply struggling to keep the lights on or to keep from going broke while doing so.

This not only has reduced our imports but also given us the flexibility in our production that makes price fixing cartels such as OPEC weak.

Prices are falling too, not just in the well known oil and gas sectors, the result again of American ingenuity and relentless commercialization efforts in fracking and horizontal drilling, but in new energy technologies as well.

Someone concerned with security can appreciate that the fuel for nuclear power plants can be provided entirely from friendly suppliers, with low price volatility, and long-term supplies stored on-site and not subject to weather disruptions.

Existing nuclear power plants use mature technologies with a long experience of domestic expertise in operations, oversight, and regulation.


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