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This paper provides a brief evaluation of the risks involved in the most common ways of energy extraction and discusses how, ultimately, the debate is about choosing between higher-probability, lower-cost disasters (such as oil spills) and low-probability potential Armageddons (nuclear accidents). The paper uses information from the "US Energy Information Administration's International Energy Outlook (2010)" to evaluate the risks and concludes that our current technological achievements do not allow us to safely use nuclear power.
From the Paper:"The most common source of energy in today's world is oil (USEIA, p. 2). While in terms of residential and commercial usage it is probably as safe as we would like it to be, there are two major drawbacks associated with its exploitation: the danger of oil spills during transport, and the release of massive quantities of CO2 during combustion. Oil spills can be catastrophic, to the point where they may be responsible for the wipeout of entire species (if they are endemic to that locale); however, these dangers can be mitigated through both technology and regulation (for example, double hulls in tankers and heavy prison terms for executives who put profit above all). Unfortunately, there is no possible way out of the CO2 conundrum: evidence seems to indicate that the more oil we burn, the higher the possibility that one day we'll be left with no ice caps and no coastal cities. "
Sample of Sources Used:
- US Energy Information Administration (2010). International Energy Outlook, 2010 . Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.
Cite this Term Paper:
Choosing Between Energy Sources: A Question Of Acceptable Risk (2012, October 17) Retrieved June 24, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/choosing-between-energy-sources-a-question-of-acceptable-risk-151853/
"Choosing Between Energy Sources: A Question Of Acceptable Risk" 17 October 2012. Web. 24 June. 2022. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/choosing-between-energy-sources-a-question-of-acceptable-risk-151853/>