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Nuclear Energy vs. Geothermal energy
Transcript of Nuclear Energy vs. Geothermal energy
Geothermal Energy Production
In volcanic areas their are several types of rock that contain radioactive uranium.
This creates heat and if their is water near these rocks it will heat up the water and causes steam to naturally rise.
This steam then rises due to pressure and is used to drive turbines and make electricity.
Reliability of Geothermal and Nuclear Energy
1. It is a very abundant source is always available because of its ability to be reused. It is always operational and accidents are extremely rare.
2. It does not require expensive complex engineering structures. Fairly cheap energy.
As a whole this means of energy is very reliable, the only reliability issue is it is not able to be produced in many locations.
Nuclear Power Generation
Nuclear power uses uranium to fuel the process
Energy is released from uranium when an atom is split by a neutron
The uranium atom is split into two and as this happens energy is released in the form of radiation and heat
This nuclear reaction is called the fission process
Safety of Nuclear Power
There have been three major reactor accidents in the history of civil nuclear power – Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima.
These are the only major accidents to have occurred in over the past six decades of commercial nuclear power operation in 33 countries.
Workers undergo rigorous training and all plants are regulated and inspected
Every country which operates nuclear power plants has a nuclear safety inspectorate and all of these work closely with the The International Atomic Energy Agency
Safety of Geothermal Energy
It is a dry steam well and is generally safe to produce but...
Drilling deep wells miles into the ground can cause unintended consequences such as earthquakes.
There have been reports of small earthquakes near geothermal plants.
The total system cost of an advanced nuclear energy facility is $108 per mega-watt hour (MWh)
For a 50 MW geothermal binary plant is $92 per megawatt hour and for a 50 MW dual flash geothermal plant its $88 per megawatt hour
2. Land costs
3. Raw material cost
The setting up of a nuclear power plant requires a large area, preferably near a natural water body
1.Clearing of forests
2.Decrease in fish population
Increased amount of sulfer dioxide in the air which causes acid rain to form which then leads to contamination of surface water bodies in the region
In closed-loop systems, gases removed from the well that are not exposed to the atmosphere are injected back into the ground after giving up their heat, so air emmisons are minimal
Open-loop systems emit hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, ammonia, methane and boron
1.Nuclear energy is the most efficient and reliable source of large-scale, around-the-clock electricity.
2. Businesses and residents have the ability to keep their lights and heat on during periods of extreme weather
Very reliable source of energy, but there are safty issues that can occur so it is important to prepare for emergencies and have steps in place to deal with problems.
Intermediate (7% by volume) (4 % radioactive content) and low-level wastes (90% by volume) (1% radioactive content) are disposed of closer to the surface, in many established respiratories
The categorization-high, intermediate, low - helps determine how wastes are treated and where they go
Geothermal power plants generate no appreciable solid waste, though the unique characteristics of some geothermal fliuds require special handling of solid byproducts
These solid byproducts often contain valuable minerals that can be recovered and recycled for other industrial uses
Impact on Society
Changed employment levels for the better
Health concerns regarding radioactivity and pollution
Concerns for reactor safety and integrity in surrounding areas
"Geothermal power plants-minimizing solid waste and recoving minerals." Energy.gov. U.S Department of energy, 2015. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.
Hance, Cedric. "Factors Affecting Costs of Geothermal Power Develpoment". Geothermal Energy Association, Aug. 2005. Web. 6 Dec. 2015.
"What Are the Benefits of Nuclear Power." Wisegeek. Wisegeek, 10 Jan. 2013. Web. 9 Dec. 2015. <http://www.wisegeek.org/what-are-the-benefits-of-nuclear-power.htm>.
Press kit: Economics of nuclear energy." OECD. Nuclear Enegry Agency, 6 July 2012. Web. 8 Dec. 2015
Geothermal energy is locally produced, reducing foreign oil imports and boosting rural economies through royalties and tax payments
Since geothermal energy production is domestic, it helps offset involvement in foreign energy affairs
Impact of society
Based on the information we found we think that geothermal enery is the better option. Both energy sources are pretty efficient although geothermal energy is a realiable source, generally safe, has little enviromental impact and produces little to no waste.