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The pros and cons of including nuclear fission in the future of energy generation in Ireland.

The pros and cons of including nuclear fission in the future of energy generation in Ireland.

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An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Adam Collins. Originally submitted for Physics at National University of Ireland Galway, with lecturer Dr. Andrew Shearer in the category of Physical Sciences
An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Adam Collins. Originally submitted for Physics at National University of Ireland Galway, with lecturer Dr. Andrew Shearer in the category of Physical Sciences

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 29, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/24/2014

 
Source: The Great Soviet Encyclopaedia, 1979.
Abstract:
The pros and cons of including nuclearfission in the future of energygeneration in Ireland.
 
Nuclear power had enjoyed a steady rise in popularity until the Chernobyldisaster and connotations with nuclear war cast it in a negative light.Consequently there was strong opposition in Ireland resulting in astatutory ban on nuclear power here. Recently the rising cost of fossilfuels along with concerns over the emission of greenhouse gases meansnuclear power cannot be ruled out as an option for the future of energygeneration in Ireland. A nuclear power plant in Ireland would providerelatively cheap and clean energy for the foreseeable future. However thehigh cost of building a nuclear plant along with the storage and disposal of nuclear waste would pose a problem. The determining factor will be whether or not the Irish public are willing toaccept nuclear power considering it was utterly rejected only 30 yearsago.
 
Ireland is facing into an energy crisis in the next few decades. Latestpredictions show that “Europe’s reserves of oil and gas will be exhaustedby 2025”, [Gittus, 2007]. Suitable alternative energy sources need to beidentified and implemented before this ‘energy deadline’.
Source: Gallagher, C., 2003
 It is clear that once fossil fuels become scarce there will be a gaping holein Ireland energy requirements. One of the few practical solutions to fillthe gap is nuclear energy. A nuclear reactor has “an average electricpower capacity of 840 MWe”, [Kruger, 2006: 127]. This means that onereactor would provide enough energy for about 100,000 people (thisfigure includes production of hydrogen fuel for transport) [Gittus, 2007]and it is not uncommon for one nuclear plant to have several reactors.Nuclear energy is not without its drawbacks, however, as the leftoverproducts from the reaction remain hazardous for hundreds of years.

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