The smallest of objects around us are made of tiny particles known as atoms. Every atom has a core referred to as the nucleus which comprises of neutrons and protons.
Electrons surround the nucleus. Now, while the neutrons are neutral, the protons present in the nucleus contain positive electrical charge, whereas the particles that surround them are harmful.
A nucleus is held together by a powerful bond, and when this bond is broken, enormous energy is released. The process through which the bonds can be broken is termed as nuclear fission.
That was the only time ever that nuclear weapons were used in any war. After the incident, nations have tried to industrialize nuclear energy rather than weaponizing it (Although nuclear weapons are still created and tested).
Nuclear energy has its own pros and cons. Here is what you should know about its pros and cons.
Pros of Nuclear Energy
Reliable Source of Energy
Unlike most sources of energy such as wind power or solar power, nuclear energy isn’t dependant on the climatic conditions. It creates steady and predictable energy.
A functional nuclear power plant can produce continuous energy for one year. Uranium is available in abundance, and while it does have a limited time to last, the scientists are already exploring new sources to power the nuclear plants.
The inclusive pollution produced from a nuclear power plant is pretty low when compared to energy produced from fossil fuels. The present consumption of atomic energy diminishes more than 555 million metric tons of emissions each year.
This reduction in greenhouse gases is a pointer of how moving to nuclear power can help in reducing the effect that pollution is having on climate in the long run.
It Has High Energy Density
This is one of the essential advantages of nuclear energy. Nuclear fission releases a lot more amounts of energy than what is released when fossil fuels like oil, gas or coal are burned.
Nuclear fission is about 8,000 times more effective at producing energy than traditional fossil fuels. Because of its efficiency, nuclear energy needs very less fuel to power a plant and thus creates very less waste.
Cons of Nuclear Energy
Expensive to Build Nuclear Power Plants
Building nuclear plants can be quite expensive. Along with the high priced equipment that is used in the production of nuclear energy, the waste products also need to be kept in unique cooled structures.
The waste product is hazardous and proper security measures are taken. The estimate runs in billions and usually surpasses the amount what it was estimated at.
When there is an accident in a nuclear plant, then the death tolls are far much higher than the numbers, a natural energy plant would have. All of us remember the Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents still cause goosebumps.
Produces Radioactive Waste
While there are no emissions produced by nuclear plants, they do create radioactive waste that is incredibly dangerous and cannot be destroyed.
Limited Fuel Supply
Uranium and thorium are the only known minerals that power a nuclear plant. Unless scientists discover a new way to create nuclear fusion or build breeder reactors before the Earth is drained, dry humans would be unable to create energy in the nuclear power plants.
The available sources of Uranium are predicted to last for 80 years only.
Nuclear energy is promising, but we need to come up with more ways to fuel nuclear plants if we want to secure its future.