Sample Essay on Advantages and Disadvantages of Nuclear Energy
Generation of electricity through nuclear energy has gone a long way to help prevent or at the very least mitigate global warming. It is important to understand the pros and cons of this energy in order to conclude whether it is as beneficial as those who advocate for it claim it to be.
Though there are potential drawbacks associated with nuclear energy, it has a couple of advantages over other energy production methods and these include the following:
- Reliability-Whenever the nuclear power is in perfect functioning state and running uninterrupted, it is a reliable source of energy. It often results to fewer brownouts and power interruptions. The operations of a nuclear plant are not affected by foreign suppliers or the weather making it further appealing.
- Expense-With a nuclear plant, less uranium is required to produce the same level of energy from oil or coal. This helps lower the cost of production and what is more, it is less costly to transport and procure uranium further lowering the cost.
- No emission of greenhouse gases-Though nuclear energy has some emissions, the plant does not have any greenhouse gas emissions and studies have proven the life cycle emissions given off the plants are at par with other sources of renewable energy like wind power. It is because of this lack greenhouse gas that nuclear energy is deemed attractive by majority of consumers.
Also, the technology that is used in production of nuclear energy is available readily which means that there is no need to develop it first. What is more, it also makes it possible to generate high electrical energy in any given single plant.
- Pollutes water-The chambers for nuclear fission use water for cooling. The water is first turned into steam which is then used for powering turbines. When this water cools, it goes back to its liquid form and is pumped to wetlands that are nearby. Though there are measures put into place to ensure no radiation gets pumped back to the environment, there are pollutants and heavy metals that find their way from the chamber and this destroys the eco systems that are found close to the nuclear reactor.
- Raw material-During the fission process, uranium is used because it is naturally stable and this measures special precautions need to be taken when transporting, mining or storing the uranium. It is also important to ensure that the uranium does not give off harmful radiation.
- Waste-Once the uranium is done splitting the radioactive byproducts that result from the process should be removed. Though there are recycling products for the waste product in recent years, the byproduct can cause contamination through containment failures and leaks.
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