The advantages and disadvantages of nuclear energy have made this source of energy one of the most controversial and disputable energy on the market these days. Advocates for and against nuclear energy are equally passionate about their causes. Understanding the pros and cons of nuclear energy source can help you make more informed decision about your own use of energy. In this article, we would like to share with you the basic description of nuclear energy and also both the advantages as well as the disadvantages this particular energy brings in our life, which will apparently emerge ever lasting dispute among grassroots and even scientists.
What is Nuclear Power Source?
Nuclear energy is deployed to generate electricity. Heat produced from the splitting of uranium atoms during the process which is known as fission is used to generate steam. This steam in turn will power turbines, which are operated to generate the electricity which supplies the surrounding community. Nuclear power stations are set up in multitude-step process which has been designed to help contain the energy and many of its reverse byproducts. This process itself denotes the base of several advantages and disadvantages for this source of energy.
The Advantages of Nuclear Energy
In spite of potential downsides and the controversy which surrounds it, nuclear energy does have few advantages over some other methods of production of energy. Let us go through some of the advantages we can obtain from nuclear energy. These, as the other forms of energy, include economical and environmental aspect.
First, as you may already know, nuclear energy has the potential to decrease the cost of producing the same amount of energy. In this case, uranium is also less costly to gain and deliver, which further will also lower the cost. Another benefit is pertinent to its reliability. When nuclear power plant is functioning well, it may remain uninterrupted for up until 540 days. This leads to fewer brownouts or other power interruptions. The running of the plant is also not contingent of foreign suppliers or weather, which in turn will make it more stable than are the other forms of energy. Unlike the popular fossil fuels, nuclear energy does not generate greenhouse gases. While nuclear energy has some emissions, the plant itself does not give off any greenhouse gases. Researches have evinced that what life-cycle emissions which the plants do give off are actually on par with renewable energy sources such as wind power. That lack of greenhouse gases can be quite interesting to some consumers.
The Disadvantages of Nuclear Energy
Just like the other forms of energy, nuclear energy does not come without issues, which make it disputable among scientists, from various perspectives. One of the reasons that this typical energy galls under fire so often is because of many downsides it brings.These, as the other forms of energy, include economical and environmental aspect.
First, it deals with the raw material. Uranium is used in the process of fission since it is naturally unstable element. This indicates that the special warning has to be taken during the mining, delivering, and storing of the raw material, as well as the storing of any waste product so as to prevent it from giving off dangerous impacts of radiation. The other negative impact is water pollutant. Nuclear fission chambers are cooled down by water. This water is eventually turned into steam, which is then used to power the turbines. As the water cools enough to change back into liquid form, it is pumped into close wetlands. Though measures have now been taken to assure that no radiation is being pumped into the area, other heavy metals as well as pollutants can really make their way out of the chamber. The immense heat which is given off by this water can be also damaging to eco systems which are situated close to the nuclear reactor. In addition, we need to pay attention to leaks and waste of nuclear energy.
When the uranium has gone through the finished splitting, the resultant radioactive byproducts have to be removed. While recycling attempts of this waste byproducts have been taken in the recent years, the storage off the nuclear energy by-product can lead to the contamination through containment failure or leaks. In terms of the leak of nuclear energy, the reactors of nuclear energy are constructed with several safety systems which are designed to contain the radiation which is given off in the fission process. When these safety systems are properly installed and then maintained, they will function adequately. When they are not well maintained, are improperly installed, or appear to pose structural flaws, a nuclear reactor may release harmful amounts of radiation into the environment during the process of regular use. If the containment field of nuclear energy were to rupture without precaution, the resulting leak of radiation could be very catastrophic. The last but by no means the last downside of nuclear energy has something to do with the shutdown reactors of nuclear energy. There have been a number of nuclear reactors that have been found failed and therefore been shutdown which are still in existence. These rather abandoned reactors are ting up valuable land area, can be contaminating the areas which surrounds them, yet are often too unstable to remove. As a result, this can cause problematic situation as to whether nuclear energy is worth long term application in various parts of the globe or not and if this type of energy can be the right source of energy as the alternative to the possible energy crisis in the near future, as most scientists extrapolated.
What is the Verdict on the use Nuclear Energy?
With so many advantages and shortcomings of nuclear energy, it is no wonder that nuclear energy will always remain as one of the most controversial sources of energy in existence. You need educate yourself on this very topic in order to make an apt and informed decision regarding your view on the use of nuclear energy.