With the increasing demand and requirement for electricity, researchers are working hard to find sources that would meet the demand while keeping the planet healthy. Nuclear power happens to be one such source that can fulfill both criteria.
Both fossil fuel and nuclear energy provide energy to produce electricity. However, nuclear energy seems a more appropriate choice when looked at the characteristics of both sources.
Fossil Fuels are the result of geological processes on the remains of ancient organisms buried for millions of years. Fossil fuels are considered non-renewable resource since they take millions of years to produce and with the increasing demand for energy it is depleting even faster.
Additionally, burning fossil fuels release a high amount of carbon dioxide. The released CO2 is higher than the amount atmosphere can absorb, leading to global warming. Also, the harmful gases released cause respiratory problems, heart and lung disease. It is also responsible for acid rain.
Advantages of Nuclear energy
- In contrast to fossil fuel, nuclear energy has a low carbon emission rate. Nuclear energy generates electricity without producing carbon dioxide. According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, in 2019 US avoided more than 476 million metric tons of CO2 emission.
- Nuclear energy produces more electricity on less land than any other source. In the US, a nuclear facility of 1000 MW requires little more than 1 square mile to function.
- Uranium is a mineral that is used to produce nuclear energy. It is one of the most abundant sources of energy on Earth and it can be reprocessed and reused, in contrast to fossil fuels.
Fossil fuels are decreasing with the increasing need to generate electricity. It is leading to a scarcity of natural energy and may cause an imbalance in the environment in the future.
On the other hand, nuclear energy is renewable energy and can be controlled. Moreover, the health benefit of using nuclear energy over fossil fuel is also a factor that is to be taken under consideration.