Nuclear Energy - An Alternative Source to Combat Global Climate Change

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1853 Words
Date:  2023-02-09

In consideration of the increasing concerns for global climate change, there is the need to consider sources of energy that would lower the rate of emission of greenhouse gases and also diminish the overreliance on fossil energy in the forthcoming generation. Nuclear energy is one of the significant options that can be used as an alternative source except for the fear that most people tend to associate "nuclear power" with bombing actions, as well as other negative perceptions such as war. However, nuclear energy in the form of electricity is considered safe today and comprises up to 15% of the global production of power. Nevertheless, France has adopted the use of nuclear energy to 80% of its electric production together with Europe which sources more than quarter of its electricity from nuclear power. Countries should use nuclear power because it produces fewer greenhouse gases compared to fossil fuel; it can meet demands of large industrial cities and does not depend on natural aspects to produces electricity like solar and wind energy.

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Even though nuclear power cannot solely solve all the energy-related issues, the challenges related to energy can also not equally be resolved without the incorporation of atomic energy. Therefore, it is noteworthy to emphasize on some of the benefits of nuclear energy over fossil energy before focusing on the challenges that come along with it, after all, France is already utilizing effectively up to 80% of nuclear power in her electricity (da Mata, Neto, & Mesquita, 2017). Setting a hypothesis regarding the use of atomic energy, it is prudent that the benefits of endorsing nuclear power are far much more than the demerits using France as a point of reference is the only country that is effectively utilizing nuclear power to large scale. Therefore, the evaluation of various energy forms before emphasizing on the benefits and demerits of nuclear energy.

The Evolution of the Nuclear Energy

The historical backdrop of nuclear energy is an account of rare occurrence, leading to worldwide legislative issues, unfulfilled dreams, and social tension. The innovation's advancement in the second half of the twentieth century advanced through a few phases. Hypothetical advancement by physicists; military application as nuclear weapons in World War II prompted the commercialization by the electrical business in a few industrialized countries among less-developed countries. The expanded emergencies produced by power plant mishaps cost exaggerations, and open challenges; and conservation and log jam over the most recent couple of many years of the twentieth century. By a long shot the most intense type of vitality to be bridled by humanity, atomic power has not turned into the prevailing type of vitality because of the incredible monetary expenses and social dangers related with its utilization.

The idea of "molecules" goes back to the antiquated Greeks, who conjectured that the material world was contained small natural particles, and for a considerable length of time from that point chemists endeavored to open the insider facts of the components. In any case, present-day nuclear science did not develop until the turn of the twentieth century. By the 1930s, researchers in a few nations were gaining ground toward understanding atomic responses, including Ernest Rutherford and James Chadwick in Great Britain; Enrico Fermi in Italy and Ernest O. Lawrence in the United States. The key breakthrough came in December 1938, when German physicists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann accomplished the principal controlled nuclear fission. There were splitting of uranium into lighter components by barraging them with neutrons and discharging tremendous measures of vitality simultaneously.

Nuclear Energy versus Fossil Fuel

The diversity between nuclear energy and fossil energy, such as coal power can be evaluated in terms of the emissions of greenhouse gases. However, when making a comparison of fossil fuel to nuclear power, nuclear reactors emit toxic radioactive waste which is a critical factor compared to the emission of carbon dioxide and other air pollutants to the atmosphere. The two energy sources can also be examined in terms of their efficiency and reliability. Nuclear power is more efficient as compared to fossil energy, and the nuclear power plants operate in more reliable ways as compared to other power generation facilities (Sutter, 2019). Consequently, sources of fossil fuel are non-renewable such as coal and overdependence on such sources of energy has led to the decline in energy production. However, uranium which is considered to be the nuclear fuel is one of the most abundant energy sources on earth. Even though most of the comparison between the two is won by atomic energy, it is outdone in the comparison by fossil fuel in regards to the cost of the heat. The cost of nuclear power may be low in terms of supply of electricity however; the initial capital costs are higher compared to that of fossil energy. Also, the establishment of a single nuclear power plant lasts for not less than fifteen years (Sutter, 2019).

Nuclear Energy versus Renewable Energy

The use of nuclear energy is disputed by the utilization of renewable energy considering some of the essential factors like the time it takes to establish a single nuclear power plant, the risks involved in the production of atomic energy, the waste as well as the cost. The cost of nuclear energy is increasingly high compared to the cost of other renewable sources of energy which have frequently reduced (Sutter, 2019). Countries that are aggressive concerning nuclear power and exiting the use of fossil energy such as China are increasingly embracing other approaches of renewable energy sources as compared to nuclear energy (Cao et al., 2016). Research has projected that within ten years into the future; there will be an increase in the use of renewable energy as compared to nuclear energy due to the obvious reasons of risk, time and the cost to establish nuclear power plants (Mohan, 2016). However, that does not imply that the use of nuclear power is of no benefit to industrial cities over fossil fuels and other renewable sources of energy.

All sources of power face the equivalent dilemma in the 21st century. The United Kingdom government has put down a major touch on atomic power, yet reactors meet just two of the three difficulties. Atomic power is low carbon and a safe source of power, yet it is extremely costly. In the period of environmental change, producing power without burping out carbon outflows is fundamental. While building atomic plants and fuelling them requires solid, transport, among other costs, the general emanations are like a breeze and solar power. All produce far less carbon than coal or gas-fueled stations. Atomic's source for strength is additionally being tested by the slamming cost of vitality stockpiling, through new advances, for example, banks of batteries and packed air. These can keep power from sunlight based and wind control for times when the sun is not sparkling, and the breeze is not blowing. More interconnectors between countries would likewise permit more noteworthy security - the breeze is generally blowing someplace.

Advantages of Nuclear Power

The main advantage of nuclear energy over other forms of energy is its low pollution rates in terms of emission of greenhouse gases hence beneficial in the management of climate crisis. The fact that nuclear power does not emit greenhouse gases implies that it does not contribute to global warming, therefore, enhancing a cleaner environment. According to Brook & Bradshaw (2015), environment conservation scientists are emphasizing on the reduction of emissions as one of the dimensions the intertwined relationship between energy and biodiversity. Therefore, the implementation of nuclear power for use in large scale is likely to help to diminish the conflicts between the conservation of biodiversity and human demands because it would cheaply replace fossil fuels and help save sources of natural energy production like forests while similarly satisfying the social requirements. Brook & Bradshaw (2015) further emphasize that nuclear power is economically utilized in regions with a collective energy intensity of greenhouse gases of 80%.

The second advantage of indulging nuclear energy in the supply of electricity is that nuclear power is relatively cheap in regards to the cost of production. Also, each unit of nuclear fuel generates massive electrical energy as compared to fossil fuels such as coal. Therefore, the use of atomic power in industrial cities will cost a minimal amount of resources to produce equal amounts of energy as different fossil sources. Research according to Filipovic, Jovanovic Popovic, & Nesic, (2017) states that countries which are looking forward to ideas of sustainable development are now considering nuclear energy as an alternative way of producing electricity to beat the high oil costs and lower the levels of dependency on other oil-producing nations. However, nuclear power is also faced with the challenge of slow development because the initial costs are high accompanied by the pessimistic perception of the public together with the side effects of disposal of radioactive waste (Filipovic, Jovanovic Popovic, & Nesic, 2017). In a nutshell, the use of nuclear power will yield economic benefits for the global population consuming electricity.

Nuclear energy is also beneficial in the sense that it is sustainable. Even though there is a limited amount of fuel for nuclear power, the sustainability of nuclear energy can be perceived about the existing breeder reactors together with fusion reactors. Also, the harnessing of atomic energy in nuclear power plants will lead to the benefit of energy sustainability as a result of the increase in power production by the nuclear power plants hence limiting the use of fossil fuels. The only challenge to the sustainability of nuclear energy is currently the use of breeder reactors and fusion reactors which if properly channeled to use can lead to the production of massive amounts of power (Brook & Bradshaw, 2015). In response to the required safety in harnessing nuclear power, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is taking all the necessary precaution for any errors that might occur anywhere worldwide in regards to any nuclear activity in any nuclear power station.

Highly industrialized countries have made responses regarding safety in the use of nuclear reactors to harness nuclear power. A country like Japan designed an advanced nuclear reactor which has been operational since 1996. The advanced reactor has a passive safety system which requires no human intervention in case of a malfunction hence minimizing the chances of human inaccuracies. Nuclear reactors like the advanced reactor safeguard the sustainability of nuclear energy in the current generation. Other measures that have been established to protect the durability of nuclear power which is variety of safety features of nuclear reactors which would minimize the severity of errors in case of any. Such measures have increased the safety of nuclear power plants hence strengthening the sustainability of nuclear energy against fossil energy.

Disadvantages of Nuclear Power

Even though the benefits of using nuclear energy may seem to be numerous, there are also a handful of disadvantages of nuclear power. The first disadvantage of atomic energy is prone to accidents. The emitted radioactive waste from nuclear reactors is a potential threat to the external environment as well as the wellbeing of humans. One recent crash that relates to the harnessing of atomic power is the Chernobyl accident of nuclear radiation whose effects on human lives is experienced to-date. Japa...

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