Nuclear power plants advantages, disadvantages, features & uses
The nuclear power plant can generate a huge amount of electricity with a small amount of uranium, It can generate the electricity remarkably stable, it doesn’t release the greenhouse effect gas at all, The nuclear power plants do not require a lot of space but they have to be built near a large body of water for cooling purposes, they are usually found on the coast, So, There is no risk to drinking water sources.
Advantages of nuclear power plants
The nuclear power stations do not contribute to carbon emissions, therefore they do not contribute to the global warming, Nuclear power stations do not produce smoke particles to pollute the atmosphere or emit the gases that contribute to the acid rain.
The nuclear reactors can be manufactured small enough to power the ships and submarines, The nuclear power stations do not burn the fossil fuels to produce the electricity, So, They do not produce damaging, The nuclear energy can be produced from the nuclear power plants even in the cases of rough weather conditions.
The nuclear power produces a small volume of waste (although that waste is radioactive), We can control the output from a nuclear power station to fit our needs.
The generation of electricity through nuclear energy reduces the amount of energy generated from fossil fuels (coal and oil), and less use of fossil fuels means lowering the greenhouse gas emissions (CO2 and others).
Less fuel offers more energy, It represents a significant save on the raw materials but also in the transport, handling, and extraction of the nuclear fuel, the cost of nuclear fuel (overall uranium) is 20% of the cost of energy generated.
Less uranium is needed to produce the same amount of energy as coal or oil which lowers the cost of producing the same amount of energy, Uranium is also less expensive to procure and transport which further lowers the cost.
The nuclear energy has the lowest impact on the environment since it does not release any gases like carbon dioxide, methane which is responsible for the greenhouse effect, there is no adverse effect on the water, land or any habitats due to the use of it.
The production of nuclear energy needs very less amount of raw material, This means that only about 28 gram of uranium releases as much energy as produced from 100 metric tons of coal, Since it is required in small quantities, transportation of fuel is much easier than fossil fuels.
Disadvantages of nuclear power plants
Some of the radioactive waste remains dangerous for thousands of years and it is currently stored in places such as deep caves and mines. Storing and monitoring the radioactive waste material for thousands of years has a high cost.
The nuclear-powered ships and submarines pose a danger to the marine life and the environment, Old vessels can leak the radiation if they are not maintained properly or if they are dismantled carelessly at the end of their working lives.
Many people living near to the nuclear power stations or waste storage depots are concerned about the nuclear accidents and the radioactive leaks, Some fear that living in these areas can damage their health especially the health of young children.
The radiation has bad effects to the environment and the human health, And it causes water pollution, there is a big risk of the nuclear accident where it releases the radiation to over a wide range, It can destroy everything if the accident occurred.
Radioactive waste from the spent nuclear fuel is the most difficult issue of the nuclear power generation, Most of the waste will be buried, The radioactive waste is dangerous, It releases the radiation for 100 thousand years.
The disposal of nuclear waste is very expensive, As it is radioactive, Decommissioning of nuclear power stations is expensive and it takes a long time.
The nuclear accidents can spread radiation-producing particles over a wide area, This radiation harms the cells of the body which can make humans sick or even cause the death, Illness can appear or strike people years after they were exposed to the nuclear radiation and genetic problems can occur too.
Uranium is used in the process of fission, As it is a naturally unstable element, So, Special precautions must be taken during the mining, transporting and storing of uranium to prevent it from giving off harmful levels of radiation.