14 January 2018
Why Nuclear Energy Is Great
When you hear the words “nuclear energy”, you don’t usually think of clean, efficient energy, but rather dangerous and hazardous to the environment. Nuclear energy is very misunderstood by the general public or people who have not done some research on it themselves. Nuclear energy is actually one of the most environmentally friendly sources of energy, it isn’t as clean as wind or solar energy though, but it is significantly more efficient. The production of nuclear energy doesn’t emit any greenhouse gasses, which is the main culprit for global warming. Greenhouse gasses absorb certain frequencies of infrared eradication and scatter them back to the surface of the earth, heating it. Greenhouse gasses prevent heat from escaping the earth, keeping it warm, which can lead to the melting of the ice caps, which will lead to dangerously high sea levels. A nuclear power plant actually emits fewer radioactive materials into the environment that a traditional coal burning facility. It is estimated that nuclear energy has saved 1.84 million lives by not releasing countless pollutants. Nuclear power is more efficient than other sources of power. It is estimated that nuclear energy has a 91% efficiency rate. Actually building a nuclear power plant will cost a lot more than a power station that generates the other types of energy, but nuclear energy itself is cheap. In 2007 the cost of nuclear generated electricity was 1.7 cents per kilowatt hour, the cost for coal for 2.4 cents, 6.7 cents for natural gas, and 10.2 cents for oil. Nuclear energy has an enormous capacity. One kg of 4% enriched fuel grade uranium released the same energy as almost 100 tons of coal or 60 tons of oil. Each year the US saves $12 billion dollars on energy costs because of nuclear power. Nuclear power plants save a lot of money that could be used on great things such as hospitals, education, and making sure people are fed. One in five households and businesses receive power from nuclear power plants in the US. 13% of the worlds energy comes from nuclear power plants, even though there are only 449 of them in 30 countries, as of April 2017 there are 60 new nuclear power plants under construction in 15 countries. Nuclear power is extremely powerful so there must be some serious downsides when handled incorrectly. What about the safety of nuclear energy? Nuclear energy is used in massive bombs used to blow up entire cities so it must be super dangerous right? Accidents in nuclear power plants are far more harmful than accidents in other power stations but the risk of an accident is low and declining. A repetition of the famous 1986 Chernobyl disaster, which displaced over 300,000 people, is virtually impossible. Hopefully after taking in all this information you are now informed on why nuclear power is not the terrible thing you may or may not have thought it was. I believe that nuclear power will be the main energy source in the future because of how great it is.