Nuclear Energy: Efficient yet Threatening
Recently, world’s attention to energy industry mostly goes to renewable energy that is considered as future eco-friendly energy generation. Benefits of renewable energy have been astonished people around the world who care about healthy environment. Because of that, people seems to forget one form of energy which once popular several decades ago, the nuclear energy.
In the energy industry, nuclear energy supplies 11% of world’s energy needs among other kinds of energy. This supply comes from nuclear power plants (also known as nuclear reactors) scattered all around the worlds. According to World Nuclear Association, more than 430 commercial reactors operate in 31 countries. All those reactors provide more than 370,000 MWe of total capacity. Still, there are many other purposes to build nuclear reactors. such as for research and transportations, especially ships and submarines. Nuclear reactors can gain a lot more energy efficiency than fossil-fueled conventional energy source.
Besides its energy efficiency, nuclear reactors are considered harmless to the environment. It does not pollute the air. It has no emissions which trigger greenhouse-gas effect. Nuclear waste is also one of those that have the lowest impact to environment. This is due to the characteristic of nuclear waste that has to be isolated from environment. Of course, it will happen if it is well maintained. Overall, nuclear energy is capable to provide clean sustainable energy for the world.
Unfortunately, energy industry cannot push nuclear energy to be used globally. There are huge safety considerations, which is related to nuclear radiations and accidents that occurred in nuclear reactors until now. Most people see that nuclear is very dangerous to health and causing death. Several widely known fatal accidents in Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima make people against the nuclear energy usage. Some countries also changed their nuclear energy policy. Germany decided to end all their nuclear reactors by the year 2022. Despite of its energy efficiency and very low environmental impact, nuclear energy is seen to pose many threats to people. Compared to renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and water, nuclear still has a drawback. To pursue the health of people and environment completely, renewable energy sources are still the best options available.