Benefits of Nuclear Energy
12 September, 2017
Nuclear energy is the solution to most of the environmental and climatic problems we are facing today. When some people hear the world nuclear, they think of all the unforgettable experience of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. However, when used safely and for the right reasons, nuclear energy is a progressive agent in the production and use of energy. Here are the main benefits of nuclear energy as compared to alternative sources of power.
The economic services of nuclear energy
Although the costs of launching a nuclear power plants are relatively high, the electricity it produces is very affordable. Once the plant is set up and running, even a shift in the market for the raw material (Uranium) and maintenance expenses cannot have significant effects on the price of power.
Unlike fossil fuels, the nuclear power sector is very competitive and stable. While the price for electricity produced from oil is dependent on market volatility, the cost of nuclear energy is not significantly affected by ‘source’ factors.
A nuclear power plant is space-saving, as it covers an area the size of a football stadium. On the other hand, turbines and biomass require huge lands.
States that have nuclear power plants are more independent economically.
Why nuclear energy is a safe option
Nuclear energy is safe for the environment. Fossil fuel has been the major source of power, even through industrialisation and urbanisation. Using fossil fuels has lead to environmental and public health risks that may soon turn into irreversible consequences.
Fortunately, the advent of nuclear power can save the earth and all its beings from the doom of extreme global warming. The process of production and waste disposal of Uranium might cause emission of greenhouse gasses, but the total emissions are very low, unlike fossil fuels.
Nowadays, there is no reason to be doubtful of the safeness of nuclear energy. The modern day nuclear power plants are safe enough to provide electricity to consumers, for everyday use. Scientists and developers have learnt from past tragedies like Japan and the Three Mile Island and have used that information to make better nuclear plants. The present-day nuclear stations are independent of external electricity or water supplies. Also, the installation of reactors underground the stations offer insulation against external hazards and unauthorised access.
Other advantages of nuclear energy
Nuclear power is reliable. Reactors offer a consistent based-load electricity, in addition to operating and producing power. Unlike other sources, the supply of nuclear energy can last for long periods, with the reactors working up to 90% of the time. When properly managed, nuclear reactors can operate for more than 40 years.
Nuclear energy is better than other sources of energy because it is very powerful and more efficient. Just one nuclear station can serve more people than an oil-based power plant and for longer periods. For example, one Kg of 4%-enriched fuel grade uranium produces energy equivalent to the burning of over 50 tonnes of oil or almost 100 tonnes of high-grade coal.
Nuclear power is renewable. Although the definition of renewable energy is ‘the capability to replenish itself and have unlimited resources,’ developments indicate that converting Uranium (the main raw material) to plutonium can make nuclear energy renewable. Unlike fossil fuels which burn to ashes and slag, Uranium-253 does not get completely burnt, meaning it can be regenerated.
Nuclear energy’s rate of consumption and production are better than those of fossil fuels. With fossil fuels, consumption is faster than the production of resources. In a few years, these resources will either be too expensive or in very low quantities. However, in small amounts of Uranium can produce a lot of power.
Nuclear energy benefits electrical planning. While electricity sources like solar panels and wind turbines depend on natural aspects like the weather, nuclear power entirely depends on the availability of raw material and production plant.
Nuclear power helps us to improve the quality of life and the atmosphere, making earth a better place to live in. By using nuclear energy, we are protecting the lives of the future generations and ensuring the survival of the human race and all species of animals and plants.