Nuclear Power Plants As Regional Economic Stimulus Texas A&M, English 101 Research Paper

2804 words - 12 pages

Researched Position Paper
Our society’s urgent need to curb our reliance on carbon based energy production is reaching a critical point where a solution must be agreed upon or we risk the collapse of our world energy economy. Governments and private industries alike are working frantically to identify that solution in order to capitalize on the imminent and growing demand for carbon free energy. That demand is due to the significant and adverse environmental impacts that the use of fossil fuels have had on our planet in just the last few centuries. These harmful effects provide real evidence for the urgent need to shift away from this fuel to a more green energy source such as nuclear power or renewables. Recently, developments in renewables such as solar and wind power have improved their cost efficiencies to levels that are able to directly compete with fossil fuels. This has generated interest in renewables from large energy corporations as a long term investment into the energy economy of the future. However, the exceptionally high public image of renewables alongside extensive government subsidies have risen the perception of their value to artificially high levels. The reality is that renewables certainly have a place in the future energy economy, but simply do not provide sufficient economic benefit to justify their viability as a primary source of energy production. In contrast, the generation of electricity through nuclear power provides numerous economic benefits. These benefits support the relatively high initial cost associated with nuclear power as well as the creation of jobs and growth in secondary industries. The energy industry as a whole, from oil and gas to renewables to secondary services and manufacturing industries tie huge amounts of money and jobs to this outcome. This means that the benefits provided by nuclear power must also be able to support the energy industry in the event of a shift away from fossil fuels. Should that shift occur it will be important to have the tools and knowledge to evaluate the full spectrum of economic factors driving the positive and negative impacts that the generation of nuclear power offers. The case for or against nuclear energy will decide the makeup of our energy economy for future generations and is becoming a matter which needs solving today. Nuclear power provides significant positive economic impact in terms of job creation, boosting surrounding land value, and increasing public expenditures in the surrounding region.
The implementation and operation of nuclear power facilities vastly improve the employment situation of the surrounding region. The employment opportunities provided by existing nuclear power plants lend themselves to a higher degree of skilled labor. Wages for these types of positions are higher on average than other jobs, which according to Ando’s estimates “makes per capita taxable income in NPF municipalities about 11.1% higher on average” (2). Income level is not...

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