Global warming is the biggest threat looming over our planet’s future. That’s why; researchers and scientists across the globe are searching and looking for more and more renewable and alternative sources of energy. A substantial volume of electrical power generated to meet our planet’s demands is actually by virtue of nuclear energy. Nuclear energy is a highly concentrated form of energy that is produced with extremely minute quantities of radioactive elements like radon, uranium and others. As radioactive elements are highly toxic to humans and the surrounding environment, nuclear power is produced in specialized nuclear chambers. It is definitely the future of power generation.
Other than being the most emission-free energy, nuclear power also has many advantages as it has the lowest impact on the environment. However, as it is radioactive and the plants are too expensive to build, necessary precautions should be taken in building and maintain the nuclear power plants in order to avoid drastic events as the one that happened in Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
How nuclear energy is produced?
Nuclear power is generated via two primary reactions namely nuclear fission and nuclear fusion. Do you know? Nuclear fission generates over million times the electrical energy that can be generated from an appreciable quantity of fossil fuels or other sources. On the other side, nuclear fusion is something that can’t be managed properly even today. Fusion is something that occurs naturally in the sun and almost impossible to handle without the use of nuclear reactors.
Long ago, many people believed that nuclear energy is the perfect way to meet upcoming energy crisis but today there are some serious ethical concerns and political issues concerned with the production of electrical energy from nuclear power plants.
Here are the few advantages of generating electric energy from nuclear power plants:
- Unlike fossils, huge amount of energy can be produced by using small amount of uranium.
- Nuclear power production doesn’t involve pollution our environment. Thus, it is a cleaner source of energy.
- Although nuclear reactors and power stations are quite expensive to build but their operating costs are extremely low when compared to an equivalent coal or gas dependent station.
- Nuclear power stations don’t take up much land and can be placed even near to the industrial areas, which reduces the need to transport electrical power over long distances.
Disadvantages of nuclear power stations:
- The process of power generation from nuclear power plants generates radiation and highly toxic wastes, which are extremely harmful to humans and environment, if not disposed properly.
- Nuclear and radioactive accidents are worst than accidents in conventional fossil fuel power units. These have deleterious and long term effects on the planet. They can lead to deadly ailments like cancer and others.
- Although radioactive elements are present in abundance over the earth but their extraction, purification and transportation is highly expensive.
- Setting up of a nuclear power plant takes lengthy time period of around 10-20 years and involves costly run ups.