Advantages and Disadvantages of Nuclear EnergyOf course, the choice is not so: nuclear power or nothing. An alternative to the atom is coal and oil, which, however, are not themselves harmless.
Air pollution and the harm to public health caused by the burning of fossil fuels has now become as hot a matter as nuclear power. The lack of gasoline and oil has revived in industrialized countries the awareness of the limited possibilities of fossil fuel deposits.
Moreover, not only the lack of oil, but also its geographical topography turned out to be uneven across countries.
Highly developed countries, such as the United States and Japan, are not located where nature has left large reserves of oil.
As a result, today we are ready to look objectively at all sorts of advantages and risks arising from the use of both atomic and other types of energy.
It’s also vital that oil is especially needed for road, rail and air transport.
Currently, there are no practically suitable alternative solutions for these purposes yet.
Therefore, there is an even greater need for the urgent development of non-fossil fuels for the operation of central power plants.
Apparently, it makes no sense to use limited oil reserves for electricity production, when for this it is possible to use nuclear reactors without special difficulties and save all the remaining oil for transport needs.
The advantage of nuclear energy is that it is based on the use of a new type of fuel that does not need to be extracted in mines by an endless stream, and whose flameless “fire” does not pollute the atmosphere with smoke and soot.
The risk lies in the likelihood of a catastrophic reactor accident, as well as in additional difficulties with the disposal of radioactive waste and the usual leakage into the environment of an insignificant amount of radioactivity.
In the long run, the main concern regarding nuclear energy may arise in connection with the export of reactors by Western industrialized countries, which will lead to an increase in the number of members of the Nuclear Club.
The advantage of coal is its abundance, at least in America, and the impossibility of a catastrophe or the formation of production waste emitting hazardous radioactive radiation.
However, other hazards are associated with coal. The most obvious of these is a large contribution to air pollution.
And by the way, coal-fired power plants emit not only smoke and soot, but also radioactive substances, and in larger quantities than a nuclear power plant, based on the unit of energy generated.
With the exception of a few places, coal deposits are located deep underground, and their mining by the mine method is one of the most dangerous occupations of a person.