Nuclear energy might just be what the world needs right now. The energy sector would easily reduce its carbon footprint. While nuclear plants do produce hazardous waste, they do not create carbon or other greenhouse gases.
This makes them a clean, yet reliable source of energy.
While you may be thinking that solar and wind are the future of energy, and you are not wrong, there are some issues. They are not very reliable or efficient.
In reality, a power grid can never be supported by only wind and solar energy due to various shortcomings. Thus, there will always need to be another energy source to pick up the slack and nuclear is perfect for the job.
At least until the technology evolves enough where solar and wind are generating more power. Keep in mind, technology is always evolving.
Nuclear energy already makes up a significant portion of the world’s electricity production at 11%. For example, in the United States, Nuclear energy makes up a whopping 20% of electricity generation from just 19 plants.
However, it can do much more with careful expansion.
A nuclear plant can be built almost anywhere regardless of the climate or geography. Although for distribution purposes, it should be close to the city it is powering.
Of course, this raises the question, why isn’t there more?
Cons Of Nuclear
Unfortunately, the public perception of a nuclear power plant is not great. Most people assume that these plants are dishing out barrels of nuclear waste every day and could explode at any minute.
However, both of these are far from the truth.
While nuclear waste is quite troublesome to dispose of, there isn’t much of it. In reality, about 97% of the waste is classified as low or intermediate-level waste (LLW or ILW). While LLW is typically put into a landfill, ILW is stored in a geological repository.
The actual HLW is properly disposed of and is technologically proven safe. It’s an ongoing practice for over 50 years now.
Of course, the biggest fear is a nuclear meltdown on the scale of Chernobyl. However, since constructing the first plant in 1954, a relatively small amount of incidents have occurred.
With the majority of them resulting in very little actual contamination.
Is Perception Changing?
While public perception is not great, it is certainly getting better. In the past, environmental groups were opposed to nuclear power, but that is beginning to change.
Increasing the amount of clean and reliable energy from nuclear plants lowers the entire sector’s carbon footprint. We can build Nuclear plants in any setting, produces a relatively low amount of waste, and does not emit greenhouse gases.