Nuclear Energy as the Most Cost-Effective Source

Subject: Environment
Pages: 4
Words: 831
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College

Nuclear energy produces the most economical electricity in that it is cost-effective especially when compared to other sources such as geothermal and other natural energy sources. For one, all the costs involved in researching and developing nuclear applications are sponsored by the government. This, therefore, means that the cost of electricity to the citizens is less because the production cost need not be transferred to the consumers. This is unlike other energy sources which are mostly financed by private investors who, therefore, transfer the costs to consumers. In addition, nuclear power plants are less insured, unlike other renewable energy sources. Similarly, this lowers the cost of production which lessens the cost of electricity since the liability of risks in the production is not bared by the plant owner but by the country as a whole. In fact, if such risks were to be bared by the operating companies, the cost of nuclear energy would be twice as much as it is now. Many nuclear plants in several countries have, therefore, been already paid for by the government in the sense that production is always ensured at low costs hence producing the cheapest and fastest energy. Additionally, the advancement of newer power reactors has enhanced less cost of the production process. However, some cost-related factors are involved in nuclear energy production. For instance, nuclear power plants have a life span of only forty years after which decommissioning has to be done. Another very significant factor has been the increasing costs of fuel.

How clean is nuclear energy?

Despite the fact almost all energy sources are unclean, nuclear energy production is known to produce the lowest amount of pollution to the environment considering the large amounts of power produced per unit. The amount of carbon dioxide production, which is the most dangerous gas in causing global warming, as well as other environmental wastes, are very low due to the safety in production facilitated by new designs of machinery. In addition, nuclear power plants have high-level facilities for disposing of the little wastes produced during energy production. However, significant amounts of wastes are released into the environment during the production and transportation of energy which can cause negative effects on humans and other living things. Additionally, radioactive materials are released into water bodies since the production of nuclear energy involves the use of minerals such as Uranium. These materials cause destruction to aquatic life and also cause poor quality of water in the affected areas. Although nuclear produces substantial amounts of carbon dioxide, the radioactive materials produced are far more life-threatening than the effects of carbon dioxide is. All in all, nuclear energy is still considered the cleanest among all other energy sources, especially coal which produces very high levels of carbon dioxide among other greenhouse gases leading to global warming. Coal production can, therefore, be held responsible for the deaths of many people especially those affected by the negative effects of carbon dioxide emissions related to global warming.

Is nuclear energy man-made

Nuclear energy is generated using natural materials but in a manmade operation. Manmade operators called nuclear reactors have been developed to facilitate the speed at which natural nuclear energy is produced from sources such as the sun. Despite the fact the raw materials used are natural, the production of nuclear energy requires man to split the nuclei into various atoms and combine them in order to generate energy. These two processes are referred to as fission and fusion respectively. This energy needs to be trapped using heat. The process can, therefore, be easily controlled to produce the required amount of energy. Besides, the raw material used in the production of nuclear energy can/have been manufactured artificially for the specific purpose of producing energy. This way, man has been able to produce adequate energy to suit their needs because unlike other energy sources such as coal and crude oil which only occur naturally. Therefore, using artificial chemicals as well as manmade nuclear reactors, man has been able to create energy, especially electricity where natural ways on the same cannot be relied on. This is opposed to dependence on coal and crude oil which can only be relied on from a natural source. Some of these manmade reactors are constructed in such a way that they are enriched with uranium fuel.

Dangers associated nuclear energy

Just like all energy production sources, nuclear energy poses some risks to life. The most significant of all is the production of radioactive materials is threatening to life. The nuclear energy technology has been used to produce nuclear weapons through the fission and fusion applications. Such weapons have been largely used to cause mass destruction in various nations such as Iran. There is also a high risk when using nuclear energy especially where the production plant bursts releasing radiations that are harmful to living things. Nuclear energy therefore has both benefits and risks but with the advancement in technology, we are hoping that such risks will be minimized.