Nuclear energy is form energy produced when Uranium nucelli are combined or fused to form one large atom that when its split into smaller atoms, produces energy that when harnessed is used in multiple sectors. The process of splitting the Uranium atoms is known as fission or fusion, and in the process, heat produced is used to create steam that is used to generate electricity. However, radioisotopes in non-stationary power reactors have been used in different sectors such as industries, medicine and scientific research, transport, food and agriculture and consumer products. Due to high demand of energy to support everchanging global transformation, human beings have invested heavily in the production of nuclear energy to solve and meet demands in day to day life. The use of nuclear energy has come with its advantages and disadvantages.
First, the most popular use of nuclear energy is the generation of clean electricity which is now more preferred to other sources such as fossil fuel (coal and oil). Nuclear energy reactors produce energy that is harnessed to heat water to form steam that is used to run turbines to generate electricity. Fossil fuels are combusted to produce electricity and carbon dioxide and other gases that are major environmental pollutants (Petrescu, 2016).
Secondly, it generates a large amount of electric power compared to other sources such as hydroelectricity stations as it runs throughout the year and it is not affected by weather or climatic change. During dry weather seasons, hydroelectric production is affected by low water levels and only rises during the rainy or wet seasons when water levels are high. Therefore, comparative generation of electric power in a nuclear energy reactor plant is relatively higher than that of the hydroelectric plant.
Thirdly, nuclear energy has become a significant sector that has resulted in boosting most of the economies of the countries that uses nuclear power due to source energy. This boosts creativity, innovative and industrial capability of that particular state leading to high production of goods and services at lower cost, which in turn promotes the economy of a country. Energy independence reduces the cost of, therefore, favoring the economic growth of a nation (Kok,2017).
Finally, the Uranium core used in the reactors is not full burnt up in the process of generation energy meaning it is capable of being re-used as compared to fossil fuel, that when burnt or combusted only produces energy and they cannot be re-used. It makes it a renewable source of energy that does not only generates clean energy but also, it is environmentally friendly by the used of transition technology produces zero waste.
However, some disadvantages have come along with the use of nuclear energy that have adverse effects on mother nature and humans, because of the production uses radioactive elements. In case of a nuclear reactor accident, leakage of radioactive rays has devastating impact on the shrouding environment. For instance, cases of death have been reported in Chernobyl, Ukraine and Japan not mentioning disastrous environmental effects when a nuclear plant accident happened (Aoyama, 2016). The wasted produced are radioactive, and they are not environmentally friendly and may produces radiations that are harmful to life.
To put up a nuclear energy plant requires high initial capital cost making it not accessible to most economies which makes it a disadvantage to use nuclear energy. Generally, to establish a nuclear energy plant is one of the most expensive investments that an economy needs spend on the project (El-Emam,2015). This makes it not accessible to most of the countries and those who have been capable establish the reactors have experienced high cost of maintaining the nuclear plant reactor.
When materials, whether solid, gas or liquid are used for an extended period in a nuclear energy reactor plant, is considered as radioactive waste when changed. This wastes that come from the nuclear reactor plant need to be safely disposed of or stored safely and conveniently recognizing dangers they pose to the environment and human life due to the high rate of radiative element that they produce. Scientific research has proven that exposure to radioactive waste can result in many health hazards which include cancer, down syndrome, defective on unborn children among other defects.
Nuclear energy is a modern form of energy production that every state is thriving to achieve and establish a nuclear reactor plant to have a sustainable source of energy for its industrial and commercial uses. Many advantages come along with the use of nuclear power when it is properly harnessed and used property similarly; it is disastrous when it goes into the wrong way. Therefore, it is left at a state level to consider putting up a nuclear plant having analyzed its capability to establish and manage nuclear energy plant and cope up with dangers that come along with nuclear energy production
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