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What is nuclear energy?

Nuclear power plants use the fission process to create energy by splitting uranium atoms. The energy created by this split is then used to heat water, which is transferred to steam turbines to generate electricity. In essence, it is not much different from any fossil fuel power plant, except that its source of energy is different, which means that it does not emit any carbon dioxide. Nuclear energy has been hailed by many as the solution to our energy problems, providing a clean energy source.

However, nuclear energy comes with a great cost.  While the power plants themselves do not emit any carbon dioxide, the process of mining the uranium, building the power plants, and transmitting waste also contribute great amounts of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. But perhaps the most pressing concern with nuclear energy is the copious amount of nuclear waste generated that does not currently have a plan for disposal. Radioactive waste from these plants can remain active for hundreds of thousands of years. Officials have proposed plans to relocate nuclear waste to the Yucca Mountains in Nevada, but the mountains will not be large enough to hold all nuclear waste generated in the future. Many are also concerned that the waste may leak after it is buried. 

Though nuclear energy takes positive steps towards reducing carbon emissions, other environmental disasters are sure to arise through the creation of nuclear power.  NETWORK has serious concerns about the use of nuclear energy and believes that other alternatives should be more actively pursued.

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