In this part, we analyze the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear energy. Nevertheless, most organizations related to nuclear energy are already prepared for or against nuclear energy. On this page, we try to make an objective analysis of this question, providing all relevant information and offering space for different requests.
nuclear energy advantages and disadvantages
The production of electricity using nuclear energy reduces the amount of energy produced from fossil fuels (coal and oil). Lower consumption of fossil fuels means lower greenhouse gas emissions (CO2 and other).
Another advantage is the required amount of fuel: less fuel offers more energy. This is a significant saving on raw materials, but also in the transport, handling and extraction of nuclear fuel. The cost of nuclear fuel (general uranium) is 20% of the cost of energy produced.
The production of electricity is continuous. The nuclear power plant generates electricity for almost 90% of the annual time. It reduces the price volatility of other fuels, such as gasoline.
This continuity is beneficial for electrical planning. Nuclear energy does not depend on natural aspects. This is the solution to the main drawback of renewable energy, such as solar or aeolian energy, because the hours of sun and wind do not always coincide with hours that require more energy.
It is an alternative to fossil fuels, so the consumption of fuels such as coal or oil is smaller. This reduction in coal and oil consumption is beneficial for global warming and global climate change. By limiting the consumption of fossil fuels, we also improve the air quality affecting the disease and quality of life.
Disadvantages of nuclear energy
We have previously discussed the benefits of using nuclear energy to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels. Organizations often use this argument for nuclear power, but this is a partial truth. Much of the consumption of fossil fuels results from road transport used in thermal engines (cars, trucks, etc.). Savings in energy consumption from fossil fuels are quite low.
In the face of an unexpected event or management of a nuclear accident, we have no guarantee that the decisions we make are always the best. Two good examples are Chernobyl and Fukushima.
The Chernobyl nuclear accident is by far the worst nuclear accident in history. Different bad decisions during the management of the plant caused a huge nuclear explosion.
Referring to the nuclear accident in Fukushima, the operations carried out by the personnel were highly doubtful. The Fukushima nuclear accident is the second worst accident in history.
One of the major disadvantages is the difficulty in managing nuclear waste. It takes many years to remove radioactivity and risk. The constructed nuclear reactors have an expiration date. Over the next ten years, they must build around 80 new nuclear reactors.
Nuclear power plants have a limited life. The investment for the construction of a nuclear power plant is very high and should be recovered as soon as possible, which raises the cost of electricity generated. In other words, the energy produced is cheap compared to the fuel costs, but the recovery of its construction is much more expensive.
Nuclear power plants are the goals of terrorist organizations.
Nuclear power plants generate external dependence. Few countries have uranium mines and not all countries have nuclear technology, so they must employ both things abroad.
Current nuclear reactors work through nuclear fission reactions. Probably the most alarming disadvantage is the use of nuclear energy in the military industry.
The advantages of nuclear fusion and nuclear fission
At present, nuclear fusion is not appropriate for generating electricity. Once elaborated, if nuclear fusion is really practical, it will provide huge benefits over nuclear fission:
Virtually inexhaustible sources of fuel.
No accidents in the reactor due to chain reactions occurring during the tests.
The generated waste will be much less radioactive.