Nuclear Energy

Nuclear energy use has taken priority in many countries today. It is argued that it affects the environment negatively and can pose a great risk to human beings and their existence. However, it is the most cost effective and environmentally friendly way of generating electricity. In addition, the risks associated with the source of energy can be avoided. This essay will argue that nuclear energy is the most effective way of generating electricity.

One of the factors why nuclear energy is an effective source of energy is that it is cost effective. Electricity generated from nuclear energy is economical and saves cost when compared with other forms of electricity from renewable sources like sun, wind, biomass and water.

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It is cost effective in the sense that the processes of conducting research and developing it receive government support in terms of finances. As result, research and development costs that are supposed to be incurred in producing nuclear energy are not reflected in electricity. In other renewable sources of electricity, funding is done by private bodies hence increasing the cost of electricity.

The other factor that makes nuclear energy cost effective is that the risks associated with this type of energy are passed on to all the citizens as opposed to a few individuals or companies that own nuclear plants. This is because there is usually legal liability underinsurance for the plants. The cost would have been very high if the companies that operate the plants were required to take insurance covers for dangers that occur at the plants (Time for Change, n.d).

Apart from cost effectiveness, nuclear energy is also environmentally friendly. Studies on energy impacts mostly focus on the impacts on the environment. Some impacts like displacement of people and interruptions caused on the land are not considered very important. Nuclear energy is environmentally friendly in that it does not emit greenhouse gases.

The operations of nuclear energy plants do not produce these gases which are associated with global warming. The emissions associated with nuclear energy cycle are indeed moderate hence nuclear power plants can instead be used to prevent global warming.

In addition, replacing coal with nuclear energy has many environmental benefits. The electricity supplied from nuclear energy throughout the world is only 14.8 percent. On the other hand, the energy supplied by coal is more than 40 percent. The fuel cycle generated when coal is used to produce energy is harmful to the environment.

In fact, it is categorized among energy sources that cause huge destruction to the environment. This leaves nuclear energy an environmentally friendly source of energy when compared with other renewable sources of energy (O’Sullivan, 2009).

During nuclear energy production, uranium nuclei are split without instances of pollution in the process. This is contrary to what happens in other energy production means which burn certain materials. For example, burning of coal to produce energy is associated with air pollution.

The different types of air pollution caused consequently lead to environmental issues which affect the health of human beings. For example, mercury produced during coal burning is harmful to the nervous system.

There are various ways that can be used to reduce the risks associated with nuclear energy. One of its risks is the harm that may arise from disposal of wastes produced during the processes of energy generation. The radioactive wastes produced during the processes are difficult to recycle or dispose using the normal disposal or recycling means.

One way of avoiding the risk associated with such wastes is by storing them in long term facilities which give them enough time to decay without being disturbed. By doing this, harmful isotopes are allowed to safely decay until they pose no risk to human lives (Lindsay, 2004).

The other way of reducing the risks associated with nuclear energy is conducting major improvements in nuclear energy plants. The major improvements include increasing safety levels in uranium mines. In addition, cleaner storage facilities are important in reducing the risks associated with nuclear energy. When these measures are combined with increased accuracy and versatility, nuclear energy turns out to be one of the best energy sources (Hagler, 2011).

Despite the objections that are raised regarding the use of nuclear energy, it is undoubtedly the most effective way of generating energy. When compared with other renewable ways of generating energy such as coal, nuclear energy has many benefits. For example, it is cost effective and environmentally friendly.

References

Hagler, A. (2011). Health Hazards from Energy Production: A Comparison of Nuclear and Coal Power. Retrieved from http://www.asutriplehelix.org/node/180

Lindsay, H. (2004). Environmental Policy Issues. Retrieved from
http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/ern/02mar/overview.php

O’Sullivan, L. (2009). The Environmental Effects of Nuclear as an Alternative Energy Source. Retrieved from http://laurenceosullivan.suite101.com/environmental-aspects-of-nuclear-energy-a93990

Time for Change. (n.d). Retrieved from
http://timeforchange.org/cost-advantage-of-nuclear-energy-pros-cons

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