Is nuclear power a way out?

Nuclear energy is harvested from nuclear reactions. Allegedly reducing the carbon footprint of the climate, pro-nuclear exponents around the globe are exposing the virtues of nuclear technology. As for all that is novel and new, however, there are certainly pros and cons to remember when introducing an idea to practise.

One of the great benefits of harvesting nuclear power as a source of electricity is that it is not necessary to further improve it as a readily accessible technology. This saves time, effort and cost, in addition to being a reasonably simple way of producing electricity. Of the 437 nuclear power plants currently across the planet, nearly all of them utilise uranium to generate heat that boils water, which in turn powers the turbines, producing a reasonably reliable supply of energy that is certainly a greener option to fossil-fuel power production with a reasonably low carbon footprint.

Another benefit to producing electricity utilising nuclear power as an alternate source is that vast quantities to electric power may be produced in a single nuclear power plant. The upside to this is to course the reduced running costs per unit of energy produced relative to the more traditional power production approaches currently in operation. So, it is a possible demand for a cheaper substitute power source.

There are two sides of the coin, though. While nuclear power seems like a greener option, there are still the pitfalls in this situation well outnumbering the pros. For one, in several countries the containment of nuclear waste remains an issue. Radioactive waste will devastate the immediate ecosystem around it. Looking back at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as noted from the various mutations of plants, animals and humans born there, the radioactive effect from 1945 also lingers in both vicinities. Thus, it is very unbearably disturbing to hear of the effects of a nuclear power plant exploding. A 100 per cent accident-proof reactor that is not vulnerable to leakage cannot be created.

Many nuclear-powered. countries are vulnerable to terrorist threats. Dropping a bomb in the centre of a nuclear plant and seeing the effect unfold over the nearby areas will be too easy. We might argue certain countries make the terrorists’ job too easy for them. There is also a possibility that they will also create nuclear arms in countries that produce energy through nuclear power, which is a point to be worried about.

Returning to the issue of whether or not nuclear power is a solution; although it may be a greener option, there are also many troubling drawbacks which plague this idea. There are also other renewable options for producing electricity, such as wind and solar power, which often produce a smaller carbon footprint than fossil fuel burning. Many African countries, deemed empty and barren, can capitalise on the option of solar power. Having wide, open stretches of land that are continuously exposed to the sun during the daytime, the question emerges why this theory has not yet been pursued. Although nuclear power may be a solution, there are also better alternatives and solutions to consider.


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