Nuclear Power Plants Pros and Cons List
We harness energy from atoms in nuclear power plants, but most of us know these plants from TV shows such as The Simpsons. We do know that nuclear power has advantages and disadvantages, but do we know them with any detail whatsoever? Most people actually do not, but we’re here to inform you. Here are some pros and cons regarding nuclear energy:
List of Pros of Nuclear Power Plants
1. Low Costs
Building a nuclear power plant is very expensive, but so is any type of investment regarding energy. Furthermore, nuclear energy has big costs including maintenance costs, enrichment costs (such as for uranium), safety costs, nuclear waste control costs, and so on. This is not a disadvantage, however, because these costs are competitive compared to the costs that we see in other types of energy sources including coal, gas and oil. Renewable energy sources have even greater costs than these.
2. Synergistic Energy
Nuclear power plants provide us with good stable amounts of energy. With these, we can have them work synergistically with other energy sources (preferably renewable ones) in order to make the best out of what we have to work with. Energy from power plants can be lowered and cranked up high when required. So, for example, when solar energy isn’t really providing a lot of electricity, nuclear power plants can provide for this downtime.
3. High Density
The amount of energy we get from nuclear fission is ten million times better than the amount we get from burning fossil fuel such as oil and gas. This means that a power plant can get a lot more energy from basically the same amount of matter (measured in different terms).
List of Cons of Nuclear Power Plants
When working with anything nuclear and radioactive, there is a big risk included in the process. Plus, radioactive waste can damage the environment and life itself. We all have the example of the Chernobyl accident, where 15,000 to 30,000 lives were lost due to the harmful effects of nuclear radiation in humans – the effects of this accident are still felt today as millions of Ukrainians still struggle with health problems today.
Recently there has been a nuclear accident in Japan that caused a few casualties as well. Although they were not as much as in the Chernobyl accident, it did have horrible environmental effects. Furthermore, it showed us that although our technology has evolved, we are still not protected against accidents, and we will probably never be.
2. Radioactive Waste
Nuclear power plants themselves don’t really cause a lot of pollution into the atmosphere, but their processes such as mining for nuclear fuel and the enrichment process do. A great example of pollution that is very widespread is the management of nuclear waste – we all know the example of polluted rivers.