Nuclear power is the name of a new era of clean energy. In the 1950s, the first nuclear power plants were constructed and started producing electricity on a massive scale. Hundreds of nuclear power plants have been built and made operational since then. The huge amount of power that a single power plant can produce is jaw-dropping. But there must be a consequence right? There is. But is it going to stop nuclear power usage in the future? Let’s find out.

1. Nuclear power

The word ‘nuclear’ comes from the word ‘nucleus.’ A nucleus is the core of an atom. The fuel of nuclear power is a radioactive atom called uranium, an isotope of uranium- uranium-235 to be exact. This nuclear fuel is extracted from nature and prepared to be used in a nuclear reactor of a nuclear power plant. A nuclear power plant can have multiple reactors. When the uranium gets hit by a high-speed proton, the atom divides and that gives away more rogue protons, thus creating a chain reaction. This chain reaction causes the production of a massive amount of heat. We use the immense energy of heat to turn water into steam. The steam turns a turbine, and the spinning turbine’s kinetic energy is converted into electricity using generators.

2. Why nuclear power?

Nuclear power is by far, one of the cleanest sources of energy. It is not only emitting less carbon dioxide but also producing electricity on a massive scale. The amount of electricity a nuclear power plant produces compared to a coal or gas-powered plant is exponentially greater.

3. Safety of nuclear power

It may come shocking to you, but nuclear power plants are by far the safest of all power-producing plants in the world. Although disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima is not something to ignore, statistically, the casualties of the plants are even less than solar or wind-powered power plants. That is very hard to believe, but it is a fact.

4. Problems of nuclear power

Nuclear power seems reasonable and hassle-free so far. So what could possibly go wrong? Well, let’s just think about the catastrophic disaster of Chernobyl or Fukushima. The death and radiation-related diseases alone is so horrific that people usually do not consider nuclear power as a viable and safe option. Another main problem is the slowness of the building of a plant. That is due to the heavy safety regulations that the engineers and builders have to follow. You can call a nuclear power plant- a slow and giant beast that gives you electricity. The last and the most troublesome problem is- nuclear waste.

5. Disposal of nuclear waste

There is no fail-proof way of disposing of the nuclear waste produced by the plants. Most plants dump them on-site to reduce costs and to ensure safety. The used-up uranium rods are dumped into the water. Because water is a good shield of radioactivity. But the water needs to be artificially cooled to prevent from getting to boiling temperature. Finland is currently working on digging underground into thousands of feet dump site to dump the waste and then plastering them permanently forever. But a radioactive nuclear fuel can emit radiation for hundreds of thousands of years. Who knows what the future generation of humankind would do if they found out about the site? The problem of the disposing is still to be solved.

6. Limited and costly nuclear fuel

Uranium is not unlimited. It is not cheap, either. Considering the general nuclear power usage, the remaining uranium on earth should serve us about another couple of centuries. So nuclear power is only a transitional phase. It is not going to be there forever.

So nuclear power is definitely a viable option regarding the safety and efficiency of the power plants. But it is not a long term solution. We should think about further developing the renewable energy sector while harvesting the nuclear power to satisfy the needs of the electricity in the meantime.

Author's Bio: 

John Smith is a Digital Marketing Consultant with more than 8 years of experience in SEO, SEM, SMO, blogging, etc having wide knowledge base into content marketing.