Energy and sources of energy are many. Most of these energy sources prove to be deteriorating to the atmosphere. Because of the harmful gases released, they promote the greenhouse effect, this depleting the ozone layer. However, there is one form of energy which is comparatively less pollutant. It is the nuclear energy. It is known as the environment friendly kind of an energy source because of the fact that it produces lesser amount of greenhouse gases as compared to the other energy sources. Nuclear energy is produced by nuclear fission where elements such as uranium used in the nuclear reactors and a huge amount of energy is released.
This energy can be found in the nucleus as seen in an atom. Since it is environment friendly, it can be beneficial for us. But there are negative effects for this also. Both of them have been extensively explained as follows.
Positive effects of Nuclear Energy
- Lesser Pollution: As mentioned earlier, the energy produced through the nuclear power emits a lesser amount of greenhouse gases. As a result, the air pollution is decreased. Because of the use of nuclear energy, the amount of greenhouse gas usage has also dropped since the last few years. No such ozone depleting gases like the carbon dioxide or methane are emitted and that is why it has the least effect on the earth’s atmosphere. This is one the very positive point of the nuclear energy production.
- Inexpensive power production: Producing electricity with the help of nuclear power is very cheap and not very expensive. Since the uranium is used in the nuclear energy production and it comes at a low cost, it doesn’t account for any high expenses. It can be seen that the cost of setting up a nuclear power plant may be high, but the cost of running it after that is quite low. Normally, a nuclear reactor can function well up to 40-60 years of time.
- Enough uranium: Other energy sources such as wind energy or solar energy are dependent on the weather for their production. However, in the case of nuclear energy, uranium is present in enough amount. Even if nuclear energy is produced daily, then we have enough uranium for another 70-80 years. This is also one of the pros of the nuclear energy.
- Better than other fossil Fuels: The extensive use of nuclear energy has proved that it is a better source of energy as compared to the other fossil fuels. It is much more feasible and has a lot greater energy density than any other fossil fuel. It even requires a lesser amount of fossil fuel for the energy production, which is not the case in other ones.
Negative effects of Nuclear Energy
- Difficult to manage: Nuclear energy can have a great negative impact on the environment. The process of refining of uranium is a difficult one and the transportation of nuclear energy possesses a threat to pollution. Also, it is radioactive and hence not after the fuel has been used.
- Disposal of radioactive waste: Nuclear energy may be a great source of energy but the tons of waste produced after the usage of this energy is liable to add to the high temperature and transmitting harmful radiations. Adding together the radioactive wastes from all the nuclear power plants all over the world, it creates a great problem to manage the same.
- Threat of Nuclear Accidents: Nuclear accidents may not be that common but the ones that have took place has caused a serious havoc on human lives. The Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents are examples of this. These kind of accidents have a very serious negative effect on the environment as well the lives of the people.
- High maintenance costs: Production of nuclear energy may be cheaper but managing the radioactive waste is costly. The waste is allowed to cool before it is blended with glass and put away in enormously big cooling solid structures. These are to be watched and taken care of by administrators which add to the cost of maintenance.
- Finite amount of Uranium: We may have enough uranium for the next 80 years but it is still finite. After all the uranium has been used, this nuclear energy won’t be that prominent if major chunk of life activities has already been based upon this. It is also present and setup in very few countries.
Being a great source of energy, nuclear energy power plants are still very less in number and usually opposed by the people. However, better advances in the management of radioactive waste and safety may make it more prominent in the coming time.