Nuclear Energy Pros and Cons
Nuclear energy has been on the rise over the past few decades. There are numerous nuclear energy pros and cons. However, there is also a downside which should be considered when deciding whether or not nuclear energy is right for you and your family. Here are some of the pros and cons of nuclear energy and how they can help you make an informed decision about this potentially lucrative energy source.
The benefits of nuclear power stations is that they produce zero carbon emissions. These carbon emissions are said to be the greatest disadvantage of nuclear energy. The cost of generating electricity at a nuclear power station is very cost competitive to other renewable and environmentally friendly sources. This is even despite the fact that there are ongoing waste and ongoing environmental concerns that have to be addressed. In addition to zero carbon emissions nuclear power stations do not generate greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide, or mercury which significantly reduce carbon emissions from a generating plant.
One big advantage of nuclear energy is that it is a clean and safe fuel. Unlike fossil fuels nuclear energy is not polluting the air in any way. If nuclear energy is produced correctly it can even create power without releasing any harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. It is also a very long-term solution. Although there is some lag time between producing nuclear energy and actually using it; if this fuel is continuously fed into the grid nuclear energy will remain cost effective and also provide a steady amount of power.
Another advantage is that nuclear energy produces no greenhouse gases or other pollutants which contribute to global warming. There are other ways to produce electricity such as by burning fossil fuels such as coal or oil which release greenhouse gases and other pollutants into the atmosphere. The U.S. has many problems with their smog and other air pollution but because nuclear power plants use uranium, which is a very clean and healthy natural resource the U.S. can continue using this resource while reducing their contribution to global warming and smog.
The U.S. also has some nuclear energy pros and cons. Nuclear energy does have some risks especially if something goes wrong or if there is a malfunction at a plant. Damage can occur and the loss of cooling water can cause some problems. There can be accidents involving the handling of radioactive material and leakage of nuclear waste into the environment.
Also there is the risk of nuclear waste especially if the plant experiences an accident and produces more waste than it can safely handle. The amount of nuclear waste being produced today is much higher than the amount the nuclear power plant produced in the past. Two sources of this waste are nuclear weapons testing and the decomposition of nuclear waste. Although the nuclear power plant will capture most of the released waste it can’t remove it from its site without creating a large mess. It can pollute the soil and water with nuclear particles for decades and still be contributing to the global environmental pollution problem.
Some nuclear energy pros and cons point out that nuclear energy is actually very reliable. There is very little chance of a nuclear emergency because the nuclear energy plant will shut down automatically in the event of a meltdown. There is no danger of explosions and there is also no risk of a nuclear disaster even if something was to happen at a nuclear power plants core. Most nuclear energy plants are located very far from large cities so they are very safe. It’s also true that nuclear energy does produce very low pollution emissions.
One thing to consider is the environmental impact of nuclear energy. Although nuclear energy provides high levels of electricity the environmental impact is not as drastic as some other forms of energy production. Also, since nuclear energy produces waste it is not as dangerous to the environment as other fuels. The waste produced by nuclear power plants is much more benign than that produced by fossil fuels. Also, the waste produced by nuclear energy plants is safer than that produced by coal burning power plants.