While it is true that the number of nuclear power plants in the world is on a steady decline, it’s important to be aware of what they can offer. On one hand, there are many benefits to building nuclear reactors and using them to generate electricity. However, there are also many downsides that come along with the benefits, causing some people to question whether nuclear power should be used at all.
Nuclear power plants emit very little carbon dioxide and thus contribute very little to global warming. They also consume far less fuel than fossil-fuel power plants do. For example, a uranium fuel pellet produces as much energy as one ton of coal or 150 gallons of oil. Nuclear power is designed to create a vast amount of electricity using small amounts of uranium, which is a very abundant chemical. It provides a high-density energy source that can produce huge amounts of electricity. Therefore, nuclear energy sources are an attractive complementary option to fossil fuels.
However, the storage of the radioactive waste produced is a costly business. It is very important that the wastes are stored in a way that does not harm the environment. To deal with nuclear waste effectively, you have to arrange for its long-term safe storage. This can only come at a high cost as keeping it safe for this long period is a difficult and expensive task. Although the probabilities such as core meltdown and explosion are low, they are not zero. When these possibilities occur, the consequences would be lethal for both environment and humans. Where there is a risk, precaution is essential.
Nuclear power has been around for a long time and is still used in some areas, but it hasn’t reached its full potential yet due to safety concerns. Also, the technology is improving day by day and a possible future disaster like Chernobyl is far less likely to happen again. Nuclear energy can be very useful when used correctly, it can take part in the shutdown of many fuel-oil power plants. Thus helping to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. That said, we need to be aware of the potential danger so we can take steps to make sure it never happens again. The Chernobyl disaster was a long time ago and technology is much better now—there are many people working on preventing a future disaster. The decision belongs to us whether to continue building nuclear power plants or shut them down.