The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
12 Points

shoud we turn to nuclar energy rather then fossil fuels

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/26/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 444 times Debate No: 68969
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (2)




I accept this debate
Debate Round No. 1


aliabidam forfeited this round.


When people think nuclear power, what usually comes to mind is giant funnels spewing some sort of mystery gas (which by the way, is water vapor) and nuclear accidents such as the Chernobyl incident and the Fukushima disaster. However, nuclear power is so much more than this, and there is an untold story of nuclear energy behind all that bad PR. Here are the benefits of nuclear energy:

1. Nuclear Energy is Relatively Cheap

There are a lot of components to the pricing of nuclear power in relation to that of coal, but when you add up all the costs, Nuclear energy is significantly cheaper. In 2012 it costed around 2.3 cents/kWh(cents per kilowatt hour) to operate and maintain a nuclear power plant. Coal and natural gas mining facilities, on the other hand, costed around 3.8 cents/kWh to operate and maintain. Oil was the worst, coming in at around 23 cents/kWh to operate and maintain. Nuclear power plants are, admittedly more expensive to build, but the cheaper cost to run them will more than pay for itself.

2. Nuclear Energy is More Eco-Friendly

When you see this, you are probably again thinking about the devastating effects of Chernobyl and Fukushima. However, these catastrophic events don't actually happen that often. There is still an issue of radioactive wastes, but waste products can be easily disposed of in waste facilities to minimize environmental damage. As mentioned earlier, what billows out of nuclear power plants is steam, which is far less damaging to the environment than say, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, and the other hundreds of gases that are clogging up our environment, all of which are byproducts of burning fossil fuels. Speaking of the effects of burning fossil fuels, lets look at some.

a) Earth's atmosphere is 80% nitrogen. When fossil fuels are burned, the nitrogen in the air is combusted along with the fuel and nitrous oxide or nitric dioxide is produced. Nitric dioxide is a reddish brownish gas that is highly toxic. Nitrous oxide is a colorless, sweet smelling toxic gas that is more commonly known as laughing gas.

b) When fossil fuels are burned, carbon based gases are released, most notably carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, making the atmosphere thicker and thus trapping more sunlight, leading to the warming of the Earth. One only has to look at Jupiter to see a planet that is heavy with greenhouse gases, and I can tell you, even without the extreme levels of gravity, living on Jupiter would not be the most pleasant experience

c) Burning fossil fuels also release sulphur dioxide as well as nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere. These two gases react with water molecules in the atmosphere to form acid. So when it rains, it rains acid. Acid rain has a number of detrimental effects on biological life, habitats, as well as man-made structures. Acid in lakes can cause some fish eggs to not hatch, and higher levels can cause adult fish to die. As such, biodiversity is reduced. Acid rain in soil kills many microbes who cannot tolerate low pH, and also changes the chemical composition of soil by reacting with calcium and magnesium, rendering plants such as the sugar maple unable to grow. When acid rain falls over forests, it can leech calcium out of the trees such as the red maple, rendering them weak to cold, which can lead to death during the winter. Acid rain can also corrode structural support such as steel beams and cables that hold up buildings and bridges, both of which have very predictable results.

3. Nuclear energy has a higher energy density

The energy released from nuclear fission is 10 million times more than from burning atoms in fossil fuels. Because of this, less fuel is needed to make more energy in terms of nuclear power.

4. Nuclear energy has a lower death toll

Again, you might be thinking back to a plethora of nuclear meltdowns. However, I will re-emphasize, these accidents don’t occur all that often, at least not as often as gas explosions, coal mine collapses, and oil spills.

A recent study found that for every one person that dies for nuclear related reasons, 4000 die for coal related reasons. Fossil Fuel mining clearly has a higher mortality rate.

5. Thorium

Thorium is a relatively new alternative to uranium, and it already is found to be better than its older counterpart. It’s greener, more energy dense, and decreases the likelihood of meltdowns to practically zero. Essentially, it addresses all the main problems people have with nuclear power plants, that is, uranium based power plants.

Debate Round No. 2


that is a very compelling argument, and refutes everything i have just said up till now. But I have a counter ready, my ulitmate, incredible, superweapon. And it is......

Debate Round No. 3
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2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by Zarroette 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: This debate basically came down to "no" versus "yes". In my reading of this debate, I found that Pro's "yes" was formed with a more wholesome method, which resulted in a more aesthetically appealing result than Con's. The "yes" really spoke to my inner rational functions, hence the argument points to Pro. Conduct points to Pro for Con's intermittent presence in this debate. Source points to Pro because they helped form the "yes".