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Nuclear Power or Renewable Energy?: Available Options in Today's Energy Market

April 2005

Citation: 35 ELR 10260

Issue: 4

Author: Shubh Nigam

The blackout of 2003 and the skyrocketing prices of gasoline have put the topic of energy into the forefront of national debate in the United States. National resources are becoming scarce and foreign countries hold the power in fuel production and distribution. Lingering questions regarding the future of energy have spurred research into the best renewable resources and possible alternatives to fossil fuels. The energy market has a colossal impact on the economy and a profound effect on the environment. The future remains uncertain, but it is imperative that the United States and each individual state thoroughly examine alternative energy sources in order to alleviate the growing demand for energy as the population increases and the climate of the earth changes.

This Article will introduce the intricacies of nuclear power as well as some renewable energy resources: hydroelectric, wind, and solar power. Part I of the Article gives an in-depth analysis of the role of the federal government concerning nuclear power plants and the intricacies associated with the plants. Part II deals with the four nuclear power plants in New Jersey and evaluates their effectiveness as an energy source. Finally, Part III provides a breakdown of hydroelectric, wind, and solar power. It further discusses legislation created by the federal government and the state government of New Jersey in regards to renewable energy resources. Although New Jersey is the target of this analysis, it could be beneficial to many states that face an uncertain future in the energy market.

Shubh Nigam received her J.D. in May of 2004 from Albany Law School of Union University in Albany, New York. She would like to thank retired Prof. John C. Welsh for all the help and advice he gave her in writing this Article.

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