10 Best Pros and Cons of Nuclear Energy

While atomic energy continues to be controversial, the pros and cons of nuclear energy make it the most debated issue today. Proponents point to its ability to produce large amounts of power without emissions. At the same time, opponents argue that nuclear plants are expensive and potentially dangerous, with an ever-growing waste problem on top of that.

1. Smaller power plants are easier to build

Nuclear Energy
nuclear Energy

Compared to huge plants like those at Chernobyl or Fukushima, nuclear power stations are simpler—it’s a minor operation that’s easier to manage. It takes a decade or less to construct one, so we can scale more quickly if demand goes up (due to climate change or an increase in electric vehicles). Since these small-scale plants are cheaper and easier to build, it also means they’re cheaper to run. Essentially, we can make lots of them.

2. Affordable in other countries

Compared to fossil fuels, nuclear energy is relatively inexpensive in most countries, which can help developing countries that lack access to more traditional forms of energy. It also serves as a bridge for developed nations to work toward more minor environmentally-destructive ways to produce power. In France, for example, there are currently over 50 nuclear reactors at 20 different plants that have about three-quarters of all electricity consumed in France. Now, less than 10 per cent of America’s power comes from nuclear energy.

3. Sustainable

A nuclear power plant can produce energy in one year as 100,000 acres of solar panels—and solar cells take up a lot more room than a nuclear reactor. Also, whereas it takes about five years to build a single wind turbine, you can make an entire nuclear power plant in just two years! As for cost, it’s no contest.

4. Powerful energy source

In 2013, nuclear power accounted for over 11% of all global electricity. This may not seem like a large number at first glance, but it’s remarkable considering that nuclear power only produces 19% of all low-carbon electricity (compared to 40% by hydroelectricity). Moreover, some countries have an extremely high reliance on nuclear energy. For example, France gets 75% and Sweden 57% of their energy from nuclear sources; there are seven countries with a 50+% dependence on atomic energy.

5. Noiseless

Nuclear energy

Most people don’t think about it, but our daily lives are full of electromagnetic noise. Those devices near us—be they cell phones, laptops, electric heaters, or even buildings themselves—emit a constant flow of waves that disrupts sleep patterns. These waves also carry potentially harmful radiation (EMFs).

6. No CO2 emissions

For years, nuclear power has been perceived as a clean energy source that doesn’t pollute our air. Although burning fossil fuels produces large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2), nuclear reactors emit almost no CO2 emissions. One gallon of gasoline-equivalent energy in a nuclear plant produces half as much CO2 emissions as natural gas plants and one-fourth by Coal.

7. Low maintenance costs

The nuclear reactor only needs to be replaced after 25 years instead of coal-fired plants, which have to be rebuilt every ten years. Furthermore, there are no operating costs for nuclear energy.

8. No nuclear waste created on-site

Unlike other forms of power, nuclear energy produces no harmful byproducts, like a waste. Because atomic reactors create electricity through fission, which splits atoms apart rather than combining them into heavier elements like Coal or natural gas to generate energy via combustion, they produce less waste than traditional methods.

9. Can be used as the medical imaging source

Ionizing radiation is also used to treat cancer. Depending on a patient’s needs, different types of radiation are used to shrink or destroy tumours. These medical tests are a form of radiotherapy (or radiation therapy). Radiotherapy is one treatment option for cancer that uses ionizing radiation. Doctors give patients radiotherapy before surgery to kill any cancer cells left behind. They can also use it after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells to reduce recurrence rates.

10. Safer than coal plants

According to a report by MIT, if 500 new nuclear plants were built worldwide, they could replace all of today’s coal plants with no increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Coal can produce more carbon dioxide than burning natural gas or oil. So even if we were to set aside our other concerns about nuclear energy—which we definitely shouldn’t—focusing on its relatively low carbon footprint is essential.

Also read: Energy https://www.energy.gov/ne/articles/advantages-and-challenges-nuclear-energy

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