10 Pros and Cons of Nuclear Energy

The Process

Nuclear energy is created through the process of splitting atoms-specifically, uranium atoms. The process used to produce nuclear energy is called fission. In nuclear plants, nuclear fission occurs when the atom of a nucleus is split, which releases a huge amount of energy. The atoms are continuously split, creating chain reactions that provide high amounts of sustainable energy for a long period.

Pros of Nuclear Energy

1. Minimises Pollution

Compared with other types of energy sources, nuclear power stands out as an environmentally friendly energy source. Nuclear power has less greenhouse emission compared to traditional energy sources.

2. High Power Output

Nuclear energy has an incredibly high fuel to power output ratio. Nuclear has a large power-generating capacity and low operating costs, making it ideal for base load generation. A single nuclear reactor has the capacity to meet city and industrial needs alone.

3. Low Operating Cost

The initial construction cost of the nuclear power plant is high however, the after costs which include the cost of running the nuclear plant is relatively less. Generating electricity in nuclear plants is cheaper than electricity generating from oil, gas, and coal.

4. Reliability

Nuclear plants are designed to operate without any interruption, thus promising continuous flow of electricity throughout the year. Commercial fusion reactors promise an inexhaustible source of electricity for countries worldwide. Nuclear power is not affected by outside conditions.

5. High Energy Density

The amount of energy released in a nuclear fission reaction is ten million times greater than the amount released in burning fossil fuels like coal, gas, and oil. That’s a substantial amount of energy density. Because nuclear energy is more efficient, it requires less fuel to power the plant compared to other types of power plants and therefore creates less waste as well.

6. Fuel Availability

Unlike other energy sources, nuclear power requires a very less amount of fuel. Also, nuclear energy doesn’t rely on fossil fuels hence nuclear power is not affected by the unpredictability of oil and gas prices. There is a limited amount of nuclear fuel i.e. uranium available on the earth. It is estimated that our Uranium reserve lasts another 80 years. If we somehow know to control fusion reactions, then we can make uranium or similar atoms along with a large amount of energy.

Cons of Nuclear Energy

1. High Initial Cost

Nuclear power plants are highly expensive to build, though their operating cost is quite low. The estimated cost to build a nuclear power plant is somewhere between 2–10 billion USD.

2. Radioactive Waste

One of the prominent cons of the nuclear plant is the radioactive waste that plant produces. Radioactive waste is the source of harmful radioactive radiation. In small quantities, radiation isn’t harmful-but radioactive waste from nuclear energy production is incredibly dangerous.

3. Accidents

The radioactive waste from the nuclear plant has serious effects on both lives and the environment. If not handled with care, it can cause serious accidents like one happened in Chernobyl. Chernobyl accident is the worst nuclear accident in the history of the industry.

4. Security Threat

Nuclear power always stands as a threat to national security. Since nuclear energy is a great source of energy hence can be used to make weapons. If these nuclear weapons go to the wrong hands, could turn the whole world into chaos. Terrorists might target nuclear power plants to create a disaster. For these reasons, security surrounding nuclear power plants is extremely important.

Conclusion

Concluding the article, we can say that the several important pros of nuclear energy overweight’s cons. The low operating costs, friendly nature to the environment, and a variety of other economic benefits make it the most efficient energy source. There are also challenges when producing nuclear energy, including expense, safety, waste, and security.

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