Nuclear power has been a topic of discussion for many decades. Many antinuclear lobbyists are against the use of nuclear power, while a lot of politicians believe that it will be one of the main sources of energy in the future. Dalton McGuinty, who while running for the position of premiere of Ontario, used in his platform the idea of alternate sources of energy rather than coal burning, strongly hinting towards nuclear power plants. A nuclear power plant being built inside of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) would be a poorly advised decision, but the idea of nuclear power being the alternative to the physical/chemical processes being used today is of great importance.

The idea of placing a nuclear power plant in Toronto is not an ill advised one because of the immense population, lack of space, and increased expense it would create. The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukraine had a meltdown occur in 1986, causing hundreds of thousands of people to flee from their homes. Dozens died within days from exposure to radiation. The effects, from cancer and eventual death, which the radiation has caused those exposed, to the still uninhabitable surroundings of the power plant, the effects are still felt to this day. With a population of three million people, another Chernobyl would be a disaster to the population and the city. Another setback of building a nuclear power plant in the GTA would be the lack of land in the city. The city is expanding outward, to the north, east, and west everyday because of the shortage of area for the growing population. There is no room to accommodate a nuclear power plant in the GTA. Even if room was found, land is very costly and buying that vast amount of land would be very expensive. The greater expense would add to the already $35 billion price tag it would carry to begin with, making it a costly venture. With the pricey cost, lack of room, and growing population, it would be a dire initiative to place a nuclear power plant inside of the Greater Toronto Area.

Even though placing a power plant inside of Toronto would be a bad idea, placing one on the outskirts of the city where its energy can be harnessed and transferred for the cities use would be an ideal situation. Because of the difficulties of building a nuclear power plant in the GTA (growing population, lack of land, high expense of land available); it would be logical to construct a plant near, but not directly in the GTA. Placing a power plant on the outskirts would allow the plant to take up as much space as it needs, at a much cheaper price while still being able to provide power to the nearby city. The larger amount of land would allow the plant a greater amount of room to store its radioactive waste, since it cannot be disposed of. The cheaper land will allow the plant to spend any extra money on alternate thins, such as state of the art safety systems to ensure no complications, and in the worst case scenario, meltdowns occur. Rather than building a nuclear power plant in the city, it would be a smarter choice to build one on the outskirts because of its reduced cost, lack of population (meaning a decreased chance of a disaster), and greater quantity of land.

Nuclear power is going to be the energy source of the future because of its competitive cost compared to other sources of energy used today, its environmentally friendly emissions and increased power output compared to alternatives used today. One of the most misinterpreted facts comes from the cost of nuclear power. Contrary to popular belief, nuclear power is on average cheaper than other substitutes.

“Nuclear power is competitively priced.  Operating cost per kilowatt/hour (kw/hr) currently favors nukes.
Here’s the comparison:       –    Nuclear:               1.8 cents per kw/hr

–       Coal:                     2.1 cents per kw/hr

–       Natural Gas:       3.5 cents per kw/hr”[1]

Even though building a nuclear power plant is expensive, the price difference compared to other options offsets these costs, making nuclear energy very affordable. Fossil fuels produce greenhouse gases which are very harmful to the environment. With the production of energy by fission in a nuclear power plant, it does not produce any harmful greenhouse gases. The reduction of greenhouse gases in the environment will lead to a decline of the increasing problem of global warming. Another advantage over fossil fuels would be the unlimited use of nuclear power, compared to the very limited supply of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are greatly declining in the world and will eventually be nonexistent. With the absence of these fossil fuels, anything that they are required for to acquire energy from (e.g. most transportation vehicles) will be ineffective. Nuclear energy is also more reliable than some natural sources of energy with such an example being wind energy. Without wind, no energy would be produced thus leaving that sector that is relying on the turbine useless. Nuclear energy proves to yield the greatest amount of energy compared to its substitutes. Physical changes use energy to overcome or allow intermolecular forces to interact, while chemical changes use energy changes to overcome the electronic structure and chemical bonds within the particles. Nuclear changes have energy changes overcoming the forces between the protons and the neutrons in the nuclei, producing new atoms with different numbers of protons or neutrons. The magnitude of the energy change comes from Einstein’s equation, E = mc2, where large amounts of energy are produced from a small mass (m) is destroyed because the speed of light (c) is so large (3.8 x 108 m/s). The increased amount of energy released from the nuclear power plant over its substitutes maintains its importance of use. Nuclear power proves to be the best replacement because of its affordability, lack of emissions of greenhouse gases and its very high rate of releasing energy compared to its alternatives.

Building a nuclear power plant on the outskirts of Toronto would be the best plan, for the new government, to undergo because of the availability the land, the lower cost of purchasing it and the lack of a growing population in case an emergency does occur. The pros of nuclear power are evident when the lack of greenhouse gases emitted, the fact that it will always be renewable (unlike fossil fuels), reliability (unlike natural sources of energy), and its emission of the greatest amount of energy because of its nuclear reactions are looked at. In the long run, different sources of energy have to be used to combat the looming energy crisis. This crisis cannot be solved by using only one type of energy, but has to be fought against by combining all of the different sources of energy on Earth. They need to be combined to supply the population with the energy they demand. Without nuclear power it will not be possible to meet all of these demands. Fossil fuels might not be around much longer, natural energy sources rely to heavily on Mother Nature, but nuclear power is forever.


[1] http://www.theinternetparty.org/commentary/c_s.php?section_type=com&td=20020926000148

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