Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Christian Buck - Power Plants

Christian Buck
4/18/06

Power plants give us enough energy to supply our population of over 350 million people. Most houses have computers and televisions, both of which use enormous amounts of power. This energy allows us to communicate with one another via telephone and Internet. It takes electricity to maintain our modern lifestyles. With our population increasing every year, we need to build more power plants.
We have various options for producing power. We can use fossil fuels, coal, hydroelectric, wind, solar, or nuclear power. Each option has its advantages and drawbacks. Which is the best option to power our future generations?
Each option has its setbacks. As you may know, coal causes a lot of pollution. Fossil fuels are very expensive and we are running out of this valuable resource. Hydroelectric power is a possibility, but it endangers the environment and kills many species of fish. Salmon are going extinct because of dams that are blocking travel to and from the sea, and emitting hot water into
their fragile environment.
Wind, solar, and nuclear energy seem like the best solutions. Wind power will not completely satisfy our power needs, but it would help. Unfortunately, many people reject wind power because of the fields of wind vanes that need to be built. Solar energy is a popular source of power, but generally for private homes rather than large-scale use. If the amount of people who use solar power increases, then less power will be needed for the power grid, lowering prices for everyone else.
Nuclear power produces the most energy, but it creates dangerous nuclear waste. Nuclear waste can be stored and kept in a safe environment but sometime; a plant will have a meltdown releasing radiation into the atmosphere.
When we make a decision to build more power plants, these factors will have to be considered. Maybe we will have a more advanced technology that will enable us to build more efficient, safer power plants.

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