ch17_Nonrenewable - Chapter 17 Nonrenewable Energy...

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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 17 Nonrenewable Energy Resources Energy Addiction to Oil Addiction World’s largest single source of energy U.S. imports more than 2/3 Drilling is hazardous Addiction to Oil “Peak Oil”? U.S. consumers concerned by depletion of supply U.S. must establish energy conservation to lessen oil addiction Energy Consumption Energy We depend on energy What do we use energy for? Developed vs. developing countries Energy Consumption Where is consumption increasing the most? Projected consumption World Energy Use World Coal Coal Most abundant fossil fuel Found mostly in N. Hemisphere U.S. has 25% Could last 200+ years What do we use it for? Use on the increase Coal: Surface Mining Coal: Strip mining Dig trench to extract mineral Dig parallel trench Cover old trench with new overburden Spoil bank Types of Coals in the US Coal: Subsurface Mining Coal: Minerals deep in ground Less land disturbance More expensive More hazardous Environmental Impacts Of Coal Environmental Abandoned mines Acid mine drainage Dangerous materials wash into streams, lakes Landslides Environmental Impacts Of Coal Acid deposition Mountaintop removal 15­25% mountaintops in S. West Virginia Valleys filled with tailings and debris CO2 released Making Coal Cleaner Making Scrubbers Desulfurization systems Clean power plant exhaust Fluidized­bed combustion Mix coal with limestone Produces less pollution Produces more heat Clean Air Act provides incentives Fluidized­Bed Combustion Fluidized­Bed Combustion Oil Oil Petroleum Crude oil Refined into different products Used in petrochemicals Plastics Fertilizers Synthetic fibers Transportation Oil Reserves Oil Unevenly distributed Much in Middle East Oil Reserves Continental shelves Underwater areas Surround continents Gulf of Mexico Spills problematic Production will peak around 2035 Environmental Impacts Of Oil Environmental CO2 released Acid deposition Photochemical smog Spills The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Exxon Alaskan coast, 1989 Largest in U.S. 10.9 million gallons Many birds, otters died Cleanup? Oil Pollution Act passed The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Exxon Earth’s Largest Oil Spill Earth’s 1991: Persian Gulf War 250 million gallons Persian Gulf Oil wells set on fire 2001: Kuwait begins remediation Long recovery time Natural Gas Natural More plentiful than oil Over half in Russia and Iran Use is on the increase Methane, ethane, propane, butane Liquefied petroleum gas Propane and butane Heating, cooking Cogeneration Make electricity and steam Natural Gas Transportation Less pollution emitted U.S. ≈ 100,000 vehicles Disadvantages Deposits located far from usage points Transporting is difficult Explosive Nuclear Energy Nuclear All atoms composed of protons, electrons, neutrons Nuclear energy Energy released by nuclear fission or fusion Change the nuclei of atoms Fission vs. Fusion Fission Fission Splitting an atomic nucleus Releases lots of energy Used in nuclear power plants Fusion Two small atoms combined Powers the sun Nuclear Fission Nuclear Conventional Nuclear Fission Conventional Uranium ore Nonrenewable resource Must first be refined: enrichment Made into pellets: uranium dioxide Conventional Nuclear Fission Pellets placed in fuel rods Rods grouped into fuel assemblies Fission in rods releases heat Heat transforms liquid water to steam Steam generates electricity Nuclear Power Plant Nuclear Reactor core: where fission occurs Steam generator: steam produced Turbine: generates electricity Condenser: cools steam back to liquid Nuclear Power Plant Nuclear Nuclear Energy vs. Coal Nuclear Nuclear Energy & Foreign Oil Nuclear Nuclear energy used for electricity Most oil used for transportation Technological advances could change this Electric heat pumps Electric vehicles Is Nuclear Power Safe? Is Accidents can happen Dangerous radiation released Meltdown Metals encasing uranium fuel melt Radiation released Risk for major accident is low Three Mile Island Three Worst nuclear accident in U.S. Pennsylvania, 1979 Partial meltdown Small amount of radiation released Public became wary of nuclear power New safety regulations put into place Institute of Nuclear Power Operations created Chernobyl Chernobyl World’s worst nuclear power plant accident Soviet Union, 1986 Nuclear reactor exploded Large quantities of radiation released Contaminated a large area of land and livestock Chernobyl 170,000+ permanently moved from homes Long­term effects still being felt Farmland and forests unusable Mothers cannot nurse children High rates of certain cancers, birth defects Nuclear Energy and Weapons Nuclear Both require nuclear fission Some countries pursuing nuclear power Materials could be used for weapons Reprocess spent fuel to make plutonium Storing plutonium is dangerous Radioactive Wastes Radioactive Low­level Solids, liquids, gases Give off small amounts of radiation High­level Solids, liquids, gases Give off large amounts of radiation Fuel rods, assemblies Highly dangerous Radioactive Waste Spent fuel Used fuel elements Very dangerous, extremely toxic Must be handled and stored properly Yucca Mountain Yucca 1982: Nuclear Waste Policy Act Federal government responsible for radioactive wastes Must find safe location(s) Yucca Mountain, Nevada Billions spent studying geology Permanent, underground storage Yucca Mountain Transporting waste is a major concern Nevada does not want the waste Decision pending Old Nuclear Power Plants Old Cannot simply be abandoned or demolished Three options Storage: guard it, dismantle later Entombment: encase in concrete Dismantle: immediate teardown and permanent storage Case Study: ANWR Case Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska Section may be opened to oil drilling Act of Congress needed Passed in 1994 President Clinton vetoed Case Study: ANWR Distinctive wildlife “America’s Serengeti” Organisms vulnerable to human activity Economic values vs. environmental values What should we do? ...
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