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  • Posted By: koolguy
  • Date Posted: 11/16/2010
  • Category: Science
  • Words: 894
  • Pages: 4
  • Views: 850
  • Rank: 234

Nuclear Energy – Advantages and Disadvantages

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Nuclear Energy – Advantages and Disadvantages

Abstract
“Growing concerns over climate change have highlighted the need to step up contribution of nuclear energy in the energy mix and to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels in the years to come. This essay discusses some of the major advantages and disadvantages of nuclear energy.”


Introduction
Nuclear energy represents only 15% of the electricity produced worldwide. Though in France, 80% of its electricity production is from nuclear energy and more than one-fourth of electricity in Europe comes from nuclear energy. Nuclear energy represents a very small percentage in many countries’ total electricity production, but this percentage is likely to go up in the coming years. Nuclear power is generated using Uranium, a mineral of which one of the isotopes, U- 234 is unstable. The nucleus breaks down resulting in the emission of heat and radiation followed by a chain reaction. This is called nuclear fission and this process liberates a large amount of energy, but the process also releases radiation which is very dangerous.


What are the Advantages of Nuclear Energy?


Clean Energy
Nuclear energy has the ability to produce electricity without greenhouse gas emissions. It produces electricity without pollution. It is cleaner than many other forms of energy production. Essentially, nuclear power would be “carbon-zero” if the uranium were mined and transported in a more efficient way.


High Quantities
Nuclear reaction releases a million times more energy, as compared to hydro or wind energy. Large quantity of energy is generated from a single nuclear power plant.


High Reserves
Nuclear reactors make use of uranium as fuel and produces huge amounts of energy from small amounts of uranium. The Earth has the high reserves of uranium. Current estimates put the uranium supply as enough to last for 30 to 60 years. Moreover other fuel cycles like Thorium are available for power generation. ...

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