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In Depth Advantages Of Nuclear Energy


advantages of nuclear energy

I know I’ve talked about this before but I wanted to make some improvements to the previous post. And I thought I should make a new post instead of modifying the other one.

Now, like in every aspect of our life, there are positive aspects and negative aspects for everything. We should now concentrate on the advantages of nuclear energy and not on the disadvantages.

Nuclear energy has the lowest impact on the environment by far since it doesn’t release any kind of gases in the atmosphere like carbon dioxide or methane which are pretty much responsible for the greenhouse effect.

Also there is no adverse effect on water, land or any habitat due to the use of it.

High output of electricity

It is well-known that nuclear power plants are managing to produce a large quantity of electricity with minimum of resources. This is probably the main reason many countries have chosen to build a lot of nuclear reactors. The best example is France of course which produces 76% of its electricity with Nuclear Plants

Small fuel transportation volumes

We can say that one of big advantages of nuclear energy is the fact that you need to use just small fuel for greater results. Less fuel delivers more energy. Actually countries that already have many reactors save a lot of money with this method. It represents a significant save on raw materials but also in transport, handling and extraction of nuclear fuel. The cost of nuclear fuel which is usually uranium is about 20% of the cost of energy generated.

90% Capacity Factor

What this really means is that a nuclear plant produces energy in about 90% of annual time. It is not influenced by weather or any other natural aspects like renewable energy.

Great Alternative to Fossil Fuels

The world population is growing and we are using more and more fossil fuels. Producing energy from nuclear plants it has its benefits because we can use less fossil fuels. At this point fossil fuels are consumed faster than they are produced so using alternatives might be a good idea.

Lowers Greenhouse Gas Emissions

By using less fossil fuels we can also improve the air quality meaning the air will be cleaner.




advantages of nuclear energyThing is that most of us are living thinking that Nuclear Power Plants are evil, which is really far from the truth. We have to realize that most of the plants are built in the seventies and the eighties and those are a little problematic. But The ones build after the nineties are much safer and much more reliable.

Anyway, new technologies like the use of Thorium instead of Uranium is a large step forward. The major advantage of using thorium is that countries can outlaw the nuclear weapons faster and easier, whilst still allowing nuclear power.

ADS(Accelerator Driven System) Thorium reactors require a beam of protons to keep the nuclear reaction going. If the beam stops the nuclear reaction stops, so they can never suffer a run away melt down. In the event of a catastrophic earthquake,  the system can be stopped like switching off a light.

Unfortunately ADS Thorium reactors are only promoted by India at present and the Uranium industry perceives them as a hostile threat. Therefore the chances of Thorium ADS being adopted in western nations are rather slim. But one can never know.





What is Nuclear Waste?

What is Nuclear Waste?

I’ve noticed a trend in the last decades where people are pretty much afraid of everything nuclear. And if we think about the human history and the destructions that we’ve seen, then yes, some of us are entitled to think that everything nuclear is a bad thing.

In my opinion we have to look at the big picture and not blame the “thing” but the people who make use of thins materials recklessly. I will make a small analogy if you want: – If someone jumps off of a bridge and kills themselves, should we ban bridges for killing people?

advantages of nuclear energyIt is the same, in my humble opinion with everything, with guns, with cars or whatever you can think of. People are controlling these “things” thus making them responsable for their actions.

Going back to “What is Nuclear Waste?”, you should know that Nuclear Waste also called Radioactive Waste is actually the leftover materials that have been used in different nuclear processes like power generation or other similar applications like medicine or research.

We all know, or at least we all have heard that these leftover materials are very dangerous and that some countries are not doing a very good job disposing them.

And when it comes to people who are against nuclear power, nuclear waste is the first argument they use against people who are pro nuclear power plants.

And rightfully so, these materials can be extremely hazardous and can affect human life, flora and fauna of a certain area and even contaminate water and soil. This can last from a few days to millions of years.  Current major approaches to managing radioactive waste have been segregation and storage for short-lived waste, near-surface disposal for low and some intermediate level waste, and deep burial or partitioning / transmutation for the high-level waste. Radioactivity naturally decays over time, so radioactive waste has to be isolated and confined in appropriate disposal facilities for a sufficient period until it no longer poses a threat.

Classification of radioactive/nuclear waste

This is very tricky because classification is very different depending on the country but the IAEA, which publishes the Radioactive Waste Safety Standards (RADWASS), also plays a major role .

  1. Uranium tailings are a waste by-products material left over from the rough processing of uranium-bearing ore. They are not that radioactive.
  2. Low-Level Waste (LLW) includes rags, tools, sometimes clothing, paper, filters, and other materials which may contain small amounts of mostly short-lived radioactivity. Low-level waste are usually leftovers from hospitals, industry and nuclear fuel cycle.
  3. Intermediate-Level Waste (ILW) usually contains higher amounts of radioactivity and my require shielding but they do not require cooling. They include resins, chemical sludge and metal nuclear fuel cladding, as well as contaminated materials from reactor decommissioning.
  4. High-Level Waste (HLW) is generated by power plants nuclear reactors and it is very hazardous. After a nuclear fuel rod serves one fuel cycle and is removed from the core, it is considered HLW. This is usually hot and requires cooling.

What is Nuclear Waste?


Disposal Methods

Nuclear or Radioactive waste requires management and very sophisticated treatment in order to successfully isolate it from merging into biosphere. Applying treatment is the first step followed by the long-term storage or disposal or transformation.
In the past or even today a lot of countries have considered different methods of disposal of radioactive waste:

  1. Outer space disposal – too expensive it was not implemented
  2. Rock-melting
  3. Long term above ground storage – too dangerous at present times
  4. Deep boreholes disposal – not implemented
  5. Ocean Disposal – done in the past is no longer permitted by the international laws
  6. Disposal in ice sheets – not implemented and today not permitted by international laws
  7. Direct injection – implemented by USA and URSS in the past

Even though the advantages of nuclear energy are obvious there are certain drawbacks as well. We for sure need to think about our future on the long-term and avoid being short-sided.







What is Nuclear Energy?

What is Nuclear Energy?

If you forgot, or if you simply just didn’t knew, the definition of Nuclear Energy is pretty simple. Nuclear Energy can be found in the nucleus of an atom.

What are Atoms you might ask? Well atoms are the smallest particles that can break a material. At the core of each atom there are two types of particles (neutrons and protons) that are held together. Nuclear energy is the energy that holds neutrons and protons.

I know that many of you still think that Nuclear Energy is bad and that is dangerous and all that. But like all things in our life , nothing is perfect. Nothing is 100% good, there must be a downside , or we wouldn’t have balance.

Advantages of Nuclear Energy are multiple. The main advantage is of course cheaper electricity. Electricity can be obtained in two ways from Nuclear Energy: Nuclear Fusion and Nuclear Fission.

For Nuclear Fusion to be able to take place, energy is released only when atoms are combined or so to say, fused together in order to create a larger atom. Nuclear Fusion is also the same energy that The Sun produces.

On the opposite side is the Nuclear Fission because what is happening here is almost the same process but reversed. What I mean by that is the actually the atoms are split in smaller atoms in order to create fission.

In fact nuclear power plants only create electricity from fission.

To be more precise when one of these two processes takes place atoms experiment a slight loss of mass which generates a huge amount of heat energy. This event was very well explained by Albert Einstein with his famous equation E = mc2.

In conformity with NEI  (Nuclear Energy Institute)  as of May 2016, 30 countries worldwide are operating 444 nuclear reactors for electricity generation and 63 new nuclear plants are under construction in 15 countries. Nuclear power plants provided 10.9 percent of the world’s electricity production in 2012. Most of the countries that operates Nuclear Plants are Europe, Northern America, East Asia and South Asia.

France has the most important share of electricity generated through nuclear energy. China has the quickest developing nuclear power program with 28 new reactors under construction, and a significant quantity of new reactors are also being constructed in India, Russia and South Korea. At the same time, at least one hundred older and smaller reactors will “most likely be closed over the following 10–15 years.

As of 2011, countries such as Australia, Austria, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, and Portugal have no nuclear power stations and remain opposed to them.

Canadian Bruce Nuclear Generating Station is the largest nuclear power plant in the world as we speak.

There are still countries that would like to have them and countries as stated before that don’t want them around. I think we are at a time when we can manage such challenges and that we are able to use them the right way.

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