Advantages of Nuclear Energy You Must Know

There are many ways energy is generated, most popular ways being coal, oil, solar and wind energy. Another source of energy generation that is gaining a lot of importance and attention is nuclear energy. In this article we will briefly introduce you to nuclear energy, how it works and the benefits it offers to the world. Read on.

Nuclear Energy- How Does it Work?

In a nutshell, nuclear energy is generated when the nucleus of an atom is destroyed and the energy released during this phenomenon is captured. The destruction is normally done through fission i.e. breaking down the atoms rather than fusing them. Radioactive elements like Uranium are used to generate nuclear energy as a small amount of radioactive elements release an impressive amount of energy. To illustrate with an example, 28 grams of uranium produces the same amount of energy as burning 100 metric tons of coal.

Many Advantages of Nuclear Energy

1. Eco-friendly – Global warming and increasing greenhouse effect is causing a lot of environmental concerns and eco-friendly energy resources like solar energy and wind energy are widely considered today. Nuclear energy can be added to that list as it leaves no carbon footprint since there is no burning of fossil fuels involved.

2. Efficient – As mentioned above, only a small fraction of radioactive elements are sufficient to generate a lot of energy that is concentrated and immense. Thus only a small amount of fuel is needed to generate large amounts of energy. Given that the method is so effective and requires such little, the transportation costs are relatively low.

3. Relatively Less Expensive – In order to generate nuclear energy, nuclear reactors are needed and the initial investment to set this up is high. However, once the initial setup is done, the subsequent costs are relatively low. The cost of radioactive elements like Uranium are low, however they are available only in limited areas.

4. Reliable – Energy generation in a nuclear reactor is independent of environmental factors like sun or wind as in the case of solar energy and wind energy. Thus it is possible to generate nuclear energy 24/7 in a nuclear reactor. 90% of the time a year nuclear power plants generate electricity and this reduces the price volatility that is normally seen in other forms of energy like oil and natural gas.

5. Less Space – For generation of nuclear energy nuclear power plants don’t need a lot of space unlike solar energy panels or wind farms which occupy a lot of space. Thus it is easy to operate nuclear power reactors with far less special requirements. However, it must be noted that nuclear power plants require a lot of water for cooling and hence they are bound by geographical limitations i.e. only coast lines.

Though nuclear energy has a lot of advantages over fossil fuels like coal and gas, there are many concerns raised by environmentalists over radioactive spillage and other safety issues around nuclear power reactors.

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