As global climate change becomes more prevalent, many experts debate about fossil fuel alternatives. You are probably also wondering about alternatives that can provide energy without harming the environment. One such alternative is nuclear power. Here are five advantages of nuclear power as an alternative:
1. Less contamination
Nuclear power produces radioactive waste. However, this waste is properly disposed of so that it doesn't harm the environment. With nuclear power, there is no concern that harmful byproducts will contaminate the soil or water. Radioactive waste is disposed of by sealing the waste in casks that use nuclear shielding. Nuclear shielding prevents radiation from escaping the cask. The cask's nuclear shielding consists of thick layers of lead and concrete. The cask is buried deep underground. Some waste produced through nuclear power is also reusable.
2. Cheap for consumers
Overall, nuclear power is the least expensive source of electricity. In 2011, nuclear power cost about 2.19 cents per kilowatt hour. Coal cost about 3.23 cents per kilowatt hour, and petroleum as much as 21.56 cents per kilowatt hour. The average household pays 12 cents per kilowatt hour. Nuclear power could save the average household 10 cents per kilowatt hour.
Unlike solar or wind power, there is no interruption in energy production for nuclear power. Producing continuous electricity from the sun or wind can prove to be very difficult. Because of this, many solar and wind power plants use fossil fuel to produce power when there is no wind or sunlight. Nuclear power plants produce a constant supply of electricity that is independent of weather or light conditions and without using fuel.
Nuclear power plants are much more compact than their solar and wind counterparts. Wind and solar plants need a lot of space. To produce enough electricity for an entire city, many turbines or solar panels are necessary. A nuclear power plant only needs a few reactors.
Despite the perceived risks from nuclear power, fossil fuels and coal have killed more people than nuclear power plant accidents. The carbon dioxide emissions produced from fossil fuel and coal cause death due to harmful pollution and climate change. In fact, nuclear power can potentially save many more lives due to reduced greenhouse gases. It is estimated that nuclear power prevented 1.8 million deaths around the world between 1971–2009 and reduced greenhouse emissions by 64 gigatons. Over that same time period an estimated 5,000 deaths were due to radiation from nuclear power plant accidents.
Nuclear power has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse emissions and help the environment. Nuclear power is a viable, safe alternative to fossil fuels and has advantages over other types of power.Share