In the 1950s, nuclear energy was first used commercially. It has continued to expand since then,
and there are now over 440 nuclear power reactors in operation around the world, supplying 10%
of the world’s electricity. Nuclear power is the world’s second-largest low-carbon power source,
after only hydroelectric power.
Today, we’ll address all of the most frequently asked questions regarding nuclear energy, so keep
reading to learn more!
What is Nuclear Energy and How Does It Work?
Nuclear energy is the energy stored in an atom’s center or nucleus. Protons, which have a positive
electric charge, and electrons, which have a negative electric charge, are held together by bonds
within this nucleus. When these bonds within the atom core are broken, a process known as nuclear
fission occurs, releasing a large quantity of energy that can be used to generate electricity.
When atoms are torn apart to release energy, nuclear energy is produced. Uranium is the most
prevalent fuel in nuclear power reactors for nuclear fission. Only one type of uranium (U-235) is
suitable; hence plutonium is utilized in some plants.
When a neutron collides with a fuel atom, nuclear fission occurs. The atom splits apart, releasing
heat and radiation energy and additional neutrons, which collide with new fuel atoms, continuing
the cycle. A nuclear chain reaction is the name for this cycle. Within the reactors of a nuclear
power plant, a nuclear chain reaction can be managed to produce heat, which then heats a cooling
agent to make steam. The steam generated spins turbines or wheels, which drive generators, which
generate power for us to utilize.
Is Nuclear Power a Renewable Source of Energy?
In a nutshell, yes and no. Yes, the electricity generated by nuclear power plants is renewable, but
the fuel used to generate it is not. Although uranium is a common metal found all over the world,
nuclear fission requires U-235 uranium, which is extremely uncommon.
The steam is generated to power the turbines, and hence the generators are recycled as well. In a
‘cooling tower,’ the steam is cooled and converted back into the water, which can be used in the
nuclear fission process.
Nuclear fusion is another method that experts believe will be attainable in the next 5-20 years.
Nuclear fusion will greatly boost energy output while significantly reducing waste production and
lowering some of the dangers of conventional nuclear fission.
Is Nuclear Power a “Green” or “Clean” Source of Energy?
The fact that nuclear energy is a clean source of energy is perhaps its most significant advantage.
It does not pollute the atmosphere or emits greenhouse gases, making it more environmentally
friendly than fossil fuels. Excess steam is the only consequence of nuclear energy production, and
it is simply recycled into the atmosphere as pure water vapour.
Is Renewable Energy a Better than Nuclear Power?
In some ways, yes; in others, no. Renewable energy is a far better option for the environment and
your home, as well as a completely clean solution to meet your daily demands.
Because certain renewable energy sources might be noisy, that is their sole true disadvantage. They
also take up many areas and aren’t as “effective” at producing energy on a large scale as nuclear
On the other hand, renewable energies can be used on a small or large scale, unlike nuclear power,
which can only be used on a massive scale. As a result, renewable energy is the ideal option,
especially as more people seek sustainable energy sources in the future.
Is Solar Energy Better Than Nuclear Energy?
Only in terms of the sheer amount of energy generated. Solar is the preferable alternative in all
other cases. A nuclear plant can take up to 20 years to construct and is extremely expensive. On
the other hand, a solar farm may be created in less than a year and expanded over time to boost
energy production while still producing electricity. Nuclear power, on the other hand, is not a real
renewable energy source.
Is Nuclear Power a Safe Source of Energy?
Although the probability of nuclear energy-related catastrophes is low, many people are concerned
about radioactive waste, which is exceedingly hazardous to the environment and health.
There is always the risk of a storage facility leaking, contaminating the soil and water around it
and affecting the people, vegetation, and fauna.
The Nuclear Power Industry’s Future
Nuclear energy has many advantages, and it is still an important part of our power generation, but
it will never be a genuine renewable energy source. That is why truly renewable energies like wind
and solar electricity are so crucial.