Nuclear Energy Pro's and Con's

Monday, December 27, 2021

The Pro's and Con's of Nuclear Energy

Is nuclear energy with its carbon-neutral wastes an answer to our energy needs or a disaster waiting to happen?

In the ’70s people started getting excited about nuclear energy because it has the technology required to be used on a large scale. 

In fact, nuclear energy accounts for roughly 21% of the electricity produced in the US.

Compare this to all of the other renewables like solar and wind which combined only produce 12%

In addition, nuclear wastes are not pumped into the atmosphere like coal plants but instead are buried or stored in containers. This helps reduce the greenhouse effect and can be good for the atmosphere.

It is estimated that since 1976, 64 gigatons of co2 emissions have not been released into the atmosphere due to nuclear power. In other words, nuclear power can have a significant dampening effect on climate change.

So do you want dangerous wastes buried in a big hole or pumped into the atmosphere?

pro's con's nuclear energy

But, nuclear power has a dark side

Nuclear power plants can help create nuclear weapons. Nuclear fuel which is most commonly uranium 235 and plutonium 239 can be used to create nuclear weapons. Enrichment can be used with U-235 to produce a grade that will fission so quickly that it is an atomic bomb. The atomic bomb that exploded over Hiroshima, Japan, had highly enriched uranium as its explosive material.

nuclear energy

Nuclear waste is very toxic and can be toxic for thousands of years. Nuclear power plants produce roughly 2000 metric tonnes of waste each year.

Because nuclear waste can be poisonous for thousands of years storage of the waste can be challenging and dangerous. 

Deep geological storage areas can be helpful but few countries have these deposits available.

Accidents that occur at nuclear plants can have a negative long-term impact on the area around the plant and can create large areas of land unfit for human habitation.

A nuclear meltdown is always a possibility

There have been three major nuclear accidents, Three-mile island in the US,  Chernobyl in the soviet union,  and Fukushima in Japan

Each of these accidents has had a long term negative impact on the area that they were located

For example, in   "in the  County, where the Three Mile Island plant is located, the 1979 death rate among infants under one year represented a 28 percent increase over that of 1978, and among infants under one month, the death rate increased by 54 percent."

So is nuclear energy an answer to our growing energy needs or a disaster waiting to happen?


Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top