The first nuclear power plant was constructed in the United States was the Watts Bar plant in Tennessee, which was started in 1973 and completed in 1990. Similarly, the River Bend plant started in 1977 and went operating in 1986.
Recent advances in technology suggested that nuclear power plants may be constructed once again shortly. This means that the pros and cons of nuclear power are essential, which needs to be considered.
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Pros and Cons of Nuclear Power:
Nuclear power is taken as a clean, stable, and reliable source of energy. If something bad happens, the overall results can be catastrophic. Events conducted in Japan and Chernobyl consist of radiation from nuclear energy and have long-lasting effects.
In this article, we are going to discuss the pros and cons of nuclear power exclusively.
- Established technology
- Provides a high level of consistent
- Safer to work in nuclear power plants in the US
- Surprisingly safe
- Water cycling lessens our costs
- Support great power needs
- Works in collaboration with existing distribution networks
- High energy density resource
- High levels of fuel availability
- The stable base of energy
- Produces low levels of air pollution
- Cost of nuclear power is comparatively low
Nuclear power works, and we have sufficient knowledge of how to design nuclear power plants, disposal networks, and fuel enrichment processes. Looking for more energy, we know nuclear power can provide us with what we need.
Thus there is no need for experimentation or network upgrades to add this energy to our networks. We can now easily build nuclear power with a simple vote from a state government or city council.
Apart from levels of radiation that are created through uranium enrichment process or waste materials created still nuclear power plants are surprisingly safe.
Although there occurred many accidents in the past, not a single one can be attributed to malfunction to this system. So, human errors and natural disasters can be one of the main reasons for nuclear energy disasters.
Support Great Power Needs:
Nuclear power can produce a large amount of power in a short period. It can meet the heavy commercial and industrial needs that we are facing today. While on the other hand, other sources of technologies offer lower power density which means that they might be able to meet low residential and industrial energy needs at its best.
The Stable Base of Energy:
More than 900 TWh is generated every year in the United States because of nuclear energy. This accounts for about 20 per cent of energy needs on an annual basis by US-based consumers.
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So, a sufficient amount of energy can be created around the clock or lowered based on local consumption levels. When the demand for nuclear power becomes high, the reactors can be cranked up to produce more power easily.
Cost of Nuclear Power Is Comparatively Low:
Generating power through nuclear energy is cost-competitive and eco-friendly as compared to other fossil fuels. This is even though sometimes initial construction costs are several billion dollars.
There will be ongoing waste disposal issues that need to be handled carefully. As nuclear power is an affordable source of energy, it allows access to the people they need for modern life.
Produces Low Levels of Air Pollution:
As compared with other fossil fuels, nuclear power produces only a few emissions that can affect the atmosphere. Some dangers need to be managed with this powerful resource.
But for the actual production process, nuclear power is something beyond wind and solar energy, especially when it comes to greenhouse gases that are produced.
Nuclear power also has some serious cons that can be harmful as compared to other fossil fuels.
- Nuclear waste can be converted into weapons
- Requires large infrastructure
- Produces harmful emissions
- The ongoing threat to the environment
- Fuel for nuclear power is a finite resource
- Carcinogen emitted from nuclear power
- No access to known uranium deposits
Nuclear Waste Can Be Converted into Weapons:
Nuclear power also provides several potential threats on numerous levels. Even the waste products obtained from nuclear waste can be turned into weapons that serve as potential.
But countries like the US ship these wastes to international communities because of a lack of storage area. This creates risks associated with terrorism all over the world.
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Requires Large Infrastructure:
Renewable energy resources and even fired powered coal is more efficient than nuclear power when it comes to the amount of infrastructure that is required to support them. It is a large scale operation which means it needs a huge level of investment and coordinating team to reach its highest potential.
This creates the cost of nuclear energy to such an extent that it may not have cost-competitive for other communities.
Produces Harmful Emissions:
Greenhouse gases produced by nuclear power are minimal, but the threat is ongoing. Waste products obtained from such gases increase the risk of being exposed to radiation.
In this way, nuclear power has become more dangerous than fossil fuel power. However, radioactive waste that is obtained from nuclear energy is estimated roughly to be about the half-life of 30 years in many instances.
The Ongoing Threat to the Environment:
Accidents can still happen regardless of how much we take of everything. When the reactor melts down, it contains nuclear waste emitting radiation that can be harmful to both people and the environment.
Up till now, more than 30,000 people were killed because of the side effects of the radiation in animals, plants, and foods. These days more than 2.5 million people are suffering from health issues after being exposed to a nuclear power plant.
Fuel for Nuclear Power Is a Finite Resource:
Lastly, uranium will disappear and also the thorium at the end. It also takes several generations to manage all the fuel properly, but it will happen one day because fuel is a finite source. This means that nuclear power is a temporary solution to our modern energy needs.
These pros and cons show that several benefits can be obtained from nuclear power when proper safety precautions are taken. But keep in mind that issues of using nuclear power can be devastating when utilized for a long time.