Nuclear energy as a viable source of power

Nuclear energy as a viable source of power

Nuclear power has long been regarded as beginning of power which is feasible to work out the oncoming crisis of energy is the foreseeable hereafter. Soon, that has ne’er been truer as countless figure of finds have uncovered the countless virtues of atomic power. Through careful survey of legion instance surveies, planing of web sites, collection of facts and figures from assorted establishments and regulating organic structures refering atomic power, has unearthed truths and facts untold ;

Nuclear power is clean & A ; efficient

Nuclear power is extremely sustainable

Nuclear power is safe

With a passion to happen a feasible beginning of power to assist repress the oncoming energy crisis, it is desired that this research paper will exemplify atomic power as the most feasible solution to undertake the onset universe energy crisis.


“ The International Energy Agency says the universe will necessitate about 60 % more energy in 2030 than in 2002 ( Kirby, 2004 ) ” . -Alex Kirby BBC intelligence.

There is no uncertainty that the universe will confront an energy crisis in the foreseeable hereafter. Williams & A ; Alhajji ( 2003 ) suggest an energy crisis would do the already limping universe economic systems to go worse ( Recession, rising prices, and higher unemployment ) . It can non be denied that current power coevals engineerings such as fossil fuels are merely excessively inefficient and polluting, are merely non plenty to be a feasible long term solution to this crisis. Besides, renewable power is non at the degree of efficiency and cost viability to be a logical solution. With options running out, atomic power comes into inquiry as a feasible beginning of power.

What is Nuclear Power? Nuclear power or instead Nuclear Fission, in laic adult males footings is the splitting of the atom, let go ofing energy stored within. In controlled environments in reactors, concatenation reactions are set off bring forthing heat and turning H2O to steam to turn the turbine ( HowStuffWorks? , 2009 ) . In short atomic power does about the same thing as dodo fuel power coevals accept more expeditiously and environmentally sound.

However there are those argue that atomic energy would non be such a feasible option, as there are other energy beginnings that are yet to be explored such a renewable energy. Groups such as Greenpeace have frequently portrayed Nuclear Energy as the black sheep of the energy industry. This has generated alot of uncertainty on whether Nuclear Energy is a suited solution to the energy crisis.

Upon farther and careful analysis it becomes really clear that Nuclear Power is the most feasible beginning of power, compared to all the other energy beginnings, despite some of its defects. Therefore, this paper will depict how Nuclear Power is the most feasible beginning of power. Research findings are based on Nuclear Fission.

2.0 Body of Content

2.1 Nuclear power is clean and efficient.

With concern for the environment, clean and efficient power coevals comes to mind. Carbon dioxide ( CO2 ) which is the byproduct of many power coevals methods is the chief cause for planetary heating. Nuclear power on the other manus produces a negligible sum of CO2 that is easy absorbed by the environment ( World Nuclear Association, 2009 ) . Compared to other beginnings of power atomic power generates less CO2 harmonizing to the statistics provided by the IAEA ( World Nuclear Association, 2009 ) . The tabular array below illustrates how good atomic power carnivals against other alternate beginnings in footings of CO2 generated in its full operating life and per kilowatt hr. The tabular array shows that Nuclear has the lowest end product of nursery gases compared to the other five beginnings, foregrounding that Nuclear Power is environmentally friendly.

Figure 1

( World Nuclear Association, 2009 )

Those who oppose Nuclear affirm that Nuclear power workss generate big sums of atomic waste that is extremely radioactive. Greenpeace had collected informations on the dangers of atomic waste as it remains radioactive for a really long clip around a half life of 50,000 old ages ( Greenpeace ) . This poses as a job for future coevalss. As wastes are unbroken deep resistance to screen society at big for its radiation, the wastes are placed into big containers. Problems arise as atomic waste can get away containment and impact the surrounding environment ( SEA-US, 1997 ) .

While these claims come from reputable groups, nevertheless true they may be, they can non stand up against the fact that atomic power does non necessitate alot of fuel, therefore waste generated is minimum. Furthermore new reactors such as the MOX reactors are being used to re-use spent fuel ( World Nuclear Association, 2011 ) . This farther reduces the sum of waste generated. Plus direction and disposal engineering is of all time progressing. The current engineering such as “ vitrification ” which is the procedure of turning high degree radioactive wastes in to glaze ( rendering it inert towards H2O ) provides extra beds of protection from it get awaying into the environment. Last, there is grounds that burying atomic waste wo n’t impact the environment so much, of course happening atomic reactions have been traveling on for a long clip in Africa, in presence of a big organic structure of H2O, stuffs finally decay into non-radioactive elements, doing the stuffs inert ( World Nuclear Association, 2011 )

Unlike most other power coevals techniques, atomic power does non necessitate monolithic sums of fuel to bring forth miserable sums of power. The power to fuel ratio is the highest in the energy industry ( OECD/IEA, 2008 ) . This means that monolithic sums of power can be generated from really small fuel. The International Atomic Energy Agency ( IAEA ) along with the International Energy Agency ( IEA ) has carried out surveies on the efficiencies of assorted beginnings of power. The consequences of their survey are really compelling. Result show that atomic power generates more energy/heat per Kg than any other beginning of power. Showing that does non utilize alot of fuel and does non bring forth CO2.Further foregrounding the efficiency and how environmentally friendly atomic power is.

Table 1


Heat value

% C

Carbon dioxide


121 MJ/kg




44-46 MJ/kg




32 MJ/l



Diesel fuel

45 MJ/kg




39 MJ/l



Crude oil

42-44 MJ/kg


70-73 g/MJ


37-39 MJ/l




20 MJ/kg




18 MJ/L



Liquefied Petroleum Gas ( LPG )

49 MJ/kg


59 g/MJ

Natural gas ( UK, USA, Australia )

38-39A MJ/m3


51 g/MJ

Natural gas ( Canada )

37 MJ/m3



Natural gas ( Russia )

34 MJ/m3



Natural gas as LNG ( Australia )

55 MJ/kg



Hard black coal ( IEA definition )

& gt ; 23.9A MJ/kg



Hard black coal ( Australia & A ; Canada )

degree Celsiuss 25.5 MJ/kg


90 g/MJ

Sub-bituminous coal ( IEA definition )

Highlighted consequences shows the power end product for 1 Kg of Uranium

17.4-23.9 MJ/kg



Sub-bituminous coal ( Australia & A ; Canada )

degree Celsiuss 18 MJ/kg



Lignite/brown coal ( IEA definition )

17.4 MJ/kg

Lignite/brown coal ( Australia, electricity )

degree Celsiuss 10 MJ/kg


1.25 kg/kWh

Firewood ( dry )

16 MJ/kg


94 g/MJ

Natural U, in LWR ( normal reactor )

500 GJ/kg



Natural U, in LWR with U & A ; Pu recycle

650 GJ/kg



Natural U, in FNR

28,000 GJ/kg



Uranium enriched to 3.5 % , in LWR

3900 GJ/kg



Uranium figures are based on 45,000 MWd/t burn-up of 3.5 % enriched U in LWRA

MJ = l06 Joule, GJ = 109 J ; A

% C is by mass ; mass CO2 = 3.667 mass CA

MJ to kWh @ 33 % efficiency: ten 0.0926A

One metric ton of oil equivalent ( toe ) is equal to 41.868 GJ

Consequences shown are to demo the efficiency of Nuclear power. In footings of heat produced

Beginning: ( OECD/IEA, 2008 )

On the whole, atomic power is clean and efficient. Although there are issues with the waste direction, but the current gait of engineering is able to get the better of this issue in the long tally. The high power to fuel ratio farther supports this as the most feasible beginning of power available.

2.2 Nuclear Power is Highly Sustainability

Sustainability, sustainability, sustainability… Sustainability is one of the first inquiries that come to mind when taking a feasible beginning of power. The ability to prolong power coevals in the long tally is one of the many defects of conventional power coevals, as fossil fuels are running low ( The Insider, 2003 ) . However, atomic power does non portion this defect. The fuel that atomic power tallies on ( U ) is abundant as it is present in about all types of stones in the Earth ‘s crust to a certain grade ( HowStuffWorks? , 2009 ) . Not to go forth out the fact that there are rather a figure of states bring forthing U, as stated in the tabular array below.

Table 2


metric tons U

per centum of universe



23 %



15 %

Soviet union


10 %

South Africa


8 %



8 %



6 %



5 %

South west africa


5 %



5 %



4 %



2 %



2 %



1 %



1 %



1 %



1 tone = 1000Kg

4 %

Annually universe sum





Entire Annual use


( World Nuclear Association, 2011 )

.A Known Recoverable Resources of UraniumA

This tabular array is a study done by the OECD NEA & A ; IAEA, highlights the sum of U or atomic fuel produced by states around the universe and the combined planetary use of U. As highlighted in the tabular array above, the planetary annual production of U far exceeds the planetary use ; this means that fuel supply will non be an issue with atomic power. Thus this farther supports atomic power as a sustainable beginning of power, farther foregrounding the viability of atomic power as a beginning of energy.

However, resistance toward atomic power are reasoning that the excavation of atomic fuel peculiarly U is holding a negative impact on the environment. As the Guardian newspaper has uncovered that mining U can foul land H2O and release Rn gas ( radioactive gas ) which can be damaging to populating beings ( Thorpe, 2008 ) .

While these determination may be true and compelling, when in pattern U excavation follow rigorous guidelines and criterions to guarantee safety ( World Nuclear Association, 2011 ) . New techniques of excavation such as in situ leach U ore extraction, works in such a manner that after mining the land was as the manner it was earlier, without polluting the land H2O ( World Nuclear Association, 2011 ) . As for the radioactive gas, steps such as puting 2 metres of clay and surface soil on the mine site reduces the radiation gas degree to a much safer degree ( World Nuclear Association, 2011 ) .

The hereafter of the energy is unsure, but atomic power is best feasible solution to this energy crisis as it can be sustained for a really long period of clip with small or no effect to the environment.

2.3 Nuclear Power is economical.

Money, it is an of import factor when sing anything. Power coevals is no exclusion. When it comes to the economic sciences of power coevals atomic power stands out as one of the most economical power coevals methods out at that place. Get downing with the power coevals cost, the fuel in which atomic power is generated from ( U ) , cost 25 % -50 % less that of conventional dodo fuel as illustrated in the figure below ( World Nuclear Association, 2011 ) .

Figure 2

( World Nuclear Association, 2011 )

As with about every type of power coevals there will be those who oppose it. High capital costs, is what oppositions of atomic power claim. In a study by Maryland PIRG, stated that the capital costs which is the start up and the initial start up cost would be higher than that of renewable energy or fossil fuels ; this study besides highlights that atomic power has a high overall cost ( Madsen, Neumann, & A ; Rusch, 2009 ) .

Undoubtedly these findings were on good evidences, but the whole truth can non be matched, and facts and figures from states do n’t lie. States such as the United States and Finland have long been harvesting from the benefits of the comparative low cost of atomic power. As Illustrated by Figure 3 & A ; 4.

Figure 3

( World Nuclear Association, 2011 )

The Figure illustrates how the production of power by atomic power in the US, is more economical when compared to fossil fuels

Figure 4

( World Nuclear Association, 2011 )

The figure shows the economical art of atomic power when compared to fossil fuels and air current. Nuclear is the lowest, being 2.37cents per kWh.

So as the figures and statements have pointed out, atomic power is economical, and has lower costs that of its dodo fuel and renewable opposite numbers. In whole, atomic power is economical compared to the other beginnings of power.

3.0 Decision

After due consideration of the facts and figures, hours of research clip, it is concluded that atomic power is the most feasible beginning of power to undertake the oncoming energy crisis, this is so because atomic power is environmentally as it produces really small C dioxide, atomic power is sustainable whist go forthing a little environmental footmark and eventually it is one of the most economical signifiers of power coevals available today. Whist atomic power has a figure of defects ; the current gait of technological promotion is able to maintain these drawbacks under wraps. Therefore

4.0 Recommendation

There is without a uncertainty atomic power is the most feasible beginning of power. The energy crisis in the non so distant hereafter is inevitable. Thus it is prudent we prepare for it by altering the head sets of people toward atomic power. There are some recommendations to see in order to switch peoples mind set to back up atomic power.

4.1 Educating the younger coevals

“ The young person are the leaders of tomorrow ” . This phrase has been used clip and clip once more, so it would be prudent to educate the younger coevals about atomic power. This can be done through runs held at schools or exhibitions on the latest occurrences in the industry. Besides make the bringing of information more appealing for the young person so that it can be easy conveyed to them.

4.2 Conveying the message to the multitudes

Adults unlike young person will non be so easy swayed. Therefore more has to be done to convert them that atomic power is the most feasible option for power coevals. One manner to make it is to, hold experts in the industries give negotiations to funny people. To rock the multitudes, the media is a powerful tool from print to electronic. It can be used to capture the Black Marias and heads of people, so it would be wise for the Government and administrations back uping atomic power to use these channels to alter people ‘s head set.