An atom is the smallest particle of an element, but when combined effectively it can be very advantageous for the world at large. Today, when we talk about nuclear energy, the stereotype notion of it being 'dangerous' and used only for 'war' has slowly paved way, to highlight its positive side. Nuclear technology is a major source of energy, which is produced by exploiting the power of the atom. With the world opening its eye on being eco-friendly, nuclear energy is viewed in a new light. There are several advantages and disadvantages associated with nuclear energy. In the following lines, we have provided some of the pros and cons of nuclear energy.
Pros Of Nuclear Energy
- One of the most significant benefits of nuclear energy is that nuclear plants would produce energy even after coal and oil become scarce. Earth has limited supply of coal and oil. Thus, nuclear plants play a major role of in energy production.
- Less fuel is required by nuclear plants when compared to the ones which burn fossil fuels. Even after burning several million tons of coal or several million barrels of oil, a ton of uranium produces more energy.
- Nuclear energy production is also eco-friendly as coal and oil burning plants pollute the air. On the other hand, nuclear plants do not contaminate the environment and hence, decreases dependency on pollution-causing fossil fuels.
- Nuclear plants require less space and hence can also be build-up in restricted spaces, when compared to others.
- When compared to coal and oil, nuclear energy is by far the most concentrated form of energy.
Cons Of Nuclear Energy
- The major disadvantage of nuclear energy is the expulsion of radiation. These radiations are very harmful for the body, damaging the cells of the body. It not only makes people sick, but even causes death.
- People are susceptible to illness even years after they are exposed to nuclear radiation.
- High level radioactivewaste emitted out from nuclear energy is very hazardous. Once released, it lasts for tens of thousands of years before decaying to safe levels.
- For terrorists, nuclear plants would be one of the most highly target area to disrupt the power supply and devastate an entire region in one go.
- Nuclear energy is dependent on Uranium. Uranium is a scarce resource, and is expected to last only for the next 30 to 60 years depending on the actual demand.
- The gestation period for nuclear power plants is quite long. The time frame needed for formalities, planning and building of a new nuclear power generation plant is in the range of 20 to 30 years.
- Accidents in nuclear reactors are much more devastating than the conventional energy plants. An instance of this is the 1986 Chernobyl incident.