27 Sep 2016
Nuclear power, despite its stained reputation, may be the best response to a dwindling number of harmful fuel options. In recent years the scientific community have devoted themselves to turning this powerful resource into something we can harness, and use safely, and they are closer than you might think. With major investments into the study of its uses, waste and plant technologies we are witnessing a new era for a resource that has been seen as ‘off-limits’ for a long time.
Any resource that is used in energy production involves some level of risk mitigation; and the production and use of nuclear power is no different. There are a number of well documented instances where nuclear power has been the cause of great harm, but, as our technology and understanding develops; balance of danger and advantage is beginning to shift.
Nuclear Power is Efficient
By utilising uranium, nuclear power is able to produce a massive amount of energy with less natural resource then other fossil fuels, making it much more of an efficient energy alternative. This efficiency carries through to the assets required to mine and transport uranium. The reduction in cost, effort and resource can be transferred to producer and customer alike, in energy rates, and production costs. But, not only are the financial benefits evident but so are the environmental.
Nuclear Power is Pollution Free...well, Kind of.
Although nuclear power is not a renewable energy like solar and wind energy, it produces no carbon dioxide pollution. This is a major culprit for global warming, and a big player in the conversation around environmental legislation. The fission process involved with producing nuclear energy omits zero greenhouse gasses, and although there is the intrinsic pollution in transport, plant production, maintenance and waste disposal, the alternatives cannot compare.
It’s Not That Scary.
The waste produced throughout the nuclear energy process is undoubtedly the biggest hurdle for many to overcome in any conversation around nuclear power. It carries the stigma seen in comic book sand the Simpsons But the truth is not that scary.
The nuclear power industry is the only one of its kind that takes full responsibility for its waste, and absorbs costs into the product. The waste that is produced is relatively small, and is carries with it less danger than a large portion of other toxic production types. When waste is produced, which occurs in all energy production process,’
Waste not, Want Not
There is a huge amount of money and time being invested in recycling used fuel. Currently reprocessing occurs in Europe, Japan and Russia, but there is intent to allow this process to be cheaper and easier, opening it up as an option for more countries. The process currently involves separating the uranium and plutonium from any nuclear waste, so the uranium may be used again in a reactor.
The Nuclear power industry is heavily regulated internationally, which cover the management of any nuclear energy waste and safety standards around radioactive risks. There are a large number of regulating bodies spread throughout the world, that have implemented a number of international conventions Joint Convention on Nuclear Safety and the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management.
But, the benefits do not end there. As our studies continue and our technology improves, this sometimes scary resource is going to became more and more accessible, and helpful. The uses for nuclear power are endless, and as other alternatives begin to dwindle, and their negative impact become more and more evident, we must start looking for substitutes. Nuclear power provides us with an opportunity to make a decision that our kids and their kids are proud we made. Nuclear power allows us to make the right decision. So what do you decide?
If you require more information, continue reading our blogs.
Back To News Stories