As of today, nuclear energy has been considered as one of the most environmental friendly energy source since it emits small amounts of greenhouse gases when producing electricity unlike the traditional sources such as coal. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear energy;
The Pros of Nuclear Energy
1. Low Pollution
Nuclear energy emits small amounts of green house gases. It has be said that the amount of greenhouse gases released has decreased by almost half since nuclear energy began to be used. Since it does not discharge gases such as carbon dioxide and methane which are the primary greenhouse gases, nuclear energy has the least impact on land, water and air.
2. Low Operational Costs
Nuclear power provides very inexpensive alternative electricity. First Uranium which is used as a fuel during the process is not costly. Second even though setting up the plant might be expensive, the cost of running and maintaining it is very low. The average life span of a nuclear plant is somewhere between 40-60 years depending on how often it is being used and how. When put together, these variables make the cost of producing electricity very low.
It has been approximated that with the current consumption rate of uranium, there is still sufficient amounts left that can last for another 70-80 years from now. This indicates that with nuclear energy electricity will be there always. Moreover, unlike wind and solar energy that rely on weather patterns, nuclear energy has no such limits and can run continuously regardless of the weather patterns.
4. More Efficient
Nuclear energy is more proficient and compelling compared to other sources of energy. Besides having a high energy density the amount of fuel required for the process is less compared to what is required by the other forms of energy.
The Cons of Nuclear Energy
1. Environmental Degradation
Since uranium has to be mined and refined and also be transported to the plant nuclear energy represents a pollution hazard. Also because of the radioactive nature of uranium, once it is dumped in landfills they posse immediate danger to plants and animal life near those areas.
2. Uranium Is Limited
Just like the other sources of fuel such as petroleum and coal, uranium is also limited and rare and only found in very few countries. Also it is not only very expensive to mine and refine but also expensive to transport. Uranium also produces a substantial amount of waste during its mining, refining as well as in electricity production which results to environmental contamination and health complications if not properly handled.