Nuclear energy is a non-renewable source of energy and comes from the core of an atom. Atoms which are small particles and have almost no volume have ironically enormous source of energy. To get energy from atoms their bonds are broken that are founded in nucleus of atom, the breakout releases high amount of energy that is further used for conversion purposes. Two most efficient ways to break the bond of atom from it nucleus are nuclear fusion and nuclear fission. Nuclear fission separates energy from nucleus of atom by splitting it apart in tiny pieces. Energy gathered in this process is used worldwide to produce electricity. In other method Nuclear fusion, instead of breaking one atom into small pieces, multiple atoms are fussed together to multiply the power. This power generates heat that produces steam and used with turbines to generate electricity. Nuclear energy is not broadly used due to some accidents faced with explosion of this energy. Some mentionable incidents include the Chernobyl disaster (1986), Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster (2011), and the Three Mile Island accident (1979).
Importance and Demand for Nuclear Energy:
After increase in oil and gas prices, nuclear power is considered as an alternate or substitute to these sources. Demand for use of nuclear energy is rising day by day and today about 25% of world electricity is produced through this non-renewable source. Different countries including Lithuania, France, Slovakia and Belgium heavily rely on this energy as it is providing them with nearly half of their energy needs. Limited availability of non-renewable energy sources and constantly changing prices are making nuclear power more attractive and are expected to lead to growth in nuclear generating capacity worldwide.
Another reason for increased demand for this energy is low carbon emission when it is compared to other non renewable sources like oil and coal. A study shows that its total life cycle emission intensity finding is similar to other renewable sources in a comparison of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit of energy generated.
Note: This image explaining how nuclear fussion takes place to produce electricity.
Note: Useful video explaining how nuclear power plant works to produce electricity.
How reliable is Nuclear Energy?
When we talk about safe or clean energy sources we mostly think about renewable energies, but the drawback of using them is their unreliable supply. With nuclear energy this issue never comes around. Nuclear power is a stable energy supply source and its plants are designed in a way so that they can operate for long run. Large units are constructed in these power plants that ensure great supply of electricity for longer period. If a nuclear plant needs to shutdown at immediate basis, still it can give up to 540-730 days power without any hindrance.
Because it is reliable source of energy, its is execpted to see growth of nuclear energy. Not to mention it produces green house gases which may effect its usage over the time.
Pros and Cons nuclear energy:
- Uranium releases low carbon dioxide In process of power generation.
- Power produced with nuclear energy is million times more, than power generated from hydro as well as wind power.
- Cost of constructing the power plant is relatively low.
- Major drawback of using this energy is irresponsible decisions that can cause accidents.
- Nuclear waste can create trouble at civil level.
- Accidental release of harmful radiation is one of the biggest drawbacks of nuclear energy .