8 Advantages and Disadvantages of Nuclear Energy

Nuclear energy is one of the sources of electricity. Although nuclear power is considered a great alternative source of non-renewable electricity producer, it also has several flaws. . Around 15% of the world’s electricity relies on nuclear energy with the United States, along with other European countries, uses nuclear energy to generate electricity although fossil fuels and hydroelectric energy are also. Here are the positive and negative sides of this popular energy source:. 

List of Advantages of Nuclear Energy

1. High Efficiency Level
One characteristic of nuclear energy is its higher efficiency level over other energy sources such as fossil fuels. This is due to the high density of the energy produced by nuclear power plants. Moreover, less fuel is required to process nuclear energy as opposed to processing oil and coal.

2. Abundant Supply
Uranium is the significant element in the process of nuclear fission and with the world having enough supply to last for 70 to 80 years, depletion is never a problem. Also, since nuclear plants are capable of meeting the demands for energy without interruption for at least a year so long as no maintenance work is required, this type of energy source is ideal.

3. Environment-friendly
Carbon emitted in the air from various sources result to pollution and aggravates global warming. Unlike coal and natural gas that are pollutants, nuclear energy does not release carbon dioxide and is cleaner. Moreover, it has lower greenhouse emissions.

4. Low Maintenance
Investing in nuclear power plants to produce energy since these plants do not need regular maintenance as well as operation can last between 40-60 years. Consequently, there is no need to shut down the plants any time soon once they have been built. Also, with the abundant supply of Uranium, there is an assurance of sufficient supply even if demands increase.

List of Advantages of Nuclear Energy

1. Harmful
Although the process of producing nuclear energy has lesser greenhouse gas emissions, it has an increasing number of nuclear reactors which puts the health and safety of the people living near the vicinity in line. During the 1970s, the core of one of the reactors was damaged while in Ohio, an accident almost occurred during inspection and was said to have been a result of poor maintenance. Also, Plutonium, which is produced when used fuel is re-processed, is important in creating bombs. If this gets stolen by bad people, it can result to death and destruction.

2. Expensive
Despite the low maintenance costs of nuclear power plants, a substantial amount of investment is needed to build these plants. In fact, around $2 billion dollars is needed to build a 1,000-megawatt power plant and time table can take up to five years.

3. Nuclear Waste Disposal Issues
One of the major setbacks of nuclear power plants is the lack of long-term waste disposal facilities. Wastes are stored on the grounds of these power plants and sooner or later, there will be no space left to contain these nuclear wastes.

4. Leak Potential
Accidents can happen despite the safety systems applied to nuclear reactors. If leaks happen, the radioactive byproduct of nuclear energy is toxic and can cause burns, cancer, blood diseases and bone decay.

The use of nuclear energy to produce electricity has its advantages and disadvantages. This is why it is essential for the leaders to continuously monitor the effects of this energy source on the environment and the people.