About Nuclear energy

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Nuclear energy is a source of energy that is produced by the fusion and fission of nuclear or atom material. There is an increased impact on the use of nuclear weapons by people from many parts of the world. However, Slovakia, Belgium, France, and Hungary are the countries that have successfully used nuclear power to produce electricity (Irvine 2011, p. 79). Nuclear power is the primary source of electricity from which secondary energy sources are derived. Electricity is the secondary source of energy that can be drawn from nuclear plants. The increasing energy needs and energy demands within the United Kingdom are the leading causes to exploring additional options for energy production from renewable sources. Nuclear power is a form of renewable energy source since the chemical component that produces nuclear power, Uranium, is finite. This paper is an argumentative argument that affirms the reason as to why nuclear power is the best solution to the UK’s future energy requirements.

Nuclear energy is a form of energy that is clean and better for the environment. The United Kingdom needs to make a consideration for nuclear power production owing to the friendliness that the power source has to the environment. Notably, nuclear power has no harmful impact on the environment since it does not produce any greenhouse gasses (Great Britain 2010). Greenhouse gasses are responsible for the increased rates of pollution and exacerbation of the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is responsible for climate change in the world. The major components of the greenhouse gasses are carbon and methane. The production of energy from the nuclear sources does not produce carbon dioxide and methane, thus, affirming nuclear power as a clean source of energy that needs to be adopted in the United Kingdom.

The other reason on why the United Kingdom needs to make consideration for the Nuclear Energy is the vast amount of energy that it produces that can be made readily available for use. Comparing the energy that is generated from coal and the energy that is produced from uranium, uranium is a more efficient source and means of providing power. According to research, approximately 28 grams of Uranium produces an equal quantity of electricity as 100 metric tons of coal (Baker & Stoker 2015, p. 322). Therefore, the choice of nuclear energy for production of electricity is a means of reducing the exploration of raw materials from the earth, thus, affirming environmental conservation efforts. Data from the existent and operational nuclear reaction plants confirms that the quantity of energy that is produced from a nuclear reaction point is reliable. For example, the nuclear reactor facility that is located at the Palo Verde plant has a capacity of 3,937 (Baker & Stoker 2015, p. 322). Therefore, the United Kingdom has the potential of meeting its energy demand from the nuclear power sources.

Third, nuclear power generation process is relatively safer. There have been relatively fewer cases of accidents emanating from the nuclear reactors compared to the production of other nuclear sources. According to statistics, there have only been three nuclear reaction accidents in the past 16000 cumulative reactors years in the countries that are producing electricity from the nuclear-producing countries. Currently, there are only 33 countries in the world that are actively producing electricity from the nuclear sources. Therefore, the United Kingdom needs to have consideration for the nuclear energy production owing to the safety that it presents to the personnel employed in the chemical reactor plants and the environment. The three leading nuclear accidents in the world are Fukushima, Chernobyl, and the Three Mile Island accidents (Blowers, 2017, p. 41). Though the Fukushima nuclear reactor accident resulted in the emission of radioactive substances into the environment, the damage to the environment is not comparable to other disasters such as oil spills.

Fourth, the technology that is used in the production of the nuclear energy is already in existence. There are approximately 33 countries that are actively producing nuclear power (Elliott, 2007, p. 145-147). Therefore, there is ease of transfer of technology owing to the increased production of nuclear power. Additionally, nuclear energy generation from countries that are allied with the United Kingdom such as France and the United States of America further affirms the ease of access to the nuclear production technology owing to technology transfer. Therefore, there is ease of access to the qualified personnel to facilitate setting up of nuclear reactors in the United Kingdom.

The energy that is produced from the nuclear sources is reliable compared to the energy that is produced from other forms such as the wind and solar. The production of nuclear power is not dependent on the weather patterns. Nuclear power can be delivered at day and during the night. As such, each nuclear reactor can be maximized to ensure that the quantity of energy that is produced meets the existent energy demand in the world.

On the flip side, some setbacks could hamper the quest by the United Kingdom to generate energy and electricity from the nuclear sources. First, nuclear power is dangerous to the environment is an event that it leaks into the environment. The main component that is used in the production of nuclear energy is Uranium. Uranium is a radioactive substance that when released into the environment can have the dangerous effect to the lives of flora and fauna.

Second, the United Kingdom needs to weigh the ability to produce energy from other alternative sources of renewable energy such as The Wind, solar and the wave energy. The setting of a wind farm or a solar production plant is relatively cheaper compared to the setting up of a nuclear reactor facility.

Nuclear energy is also a recipe for chaos in the world. Nuclear power can be used in the production of nuclear weapons that are in return used in threatening the global peace. Currently, there is a tussle between the United States of America and Iran over the production of nuclear weapons. A possible decision by the United Kingdom to produce energy from the nuclear sources can be interpreted by the allies of the United Kingdom as a provocation of war. The setting of nuclear power plants by the United Kingdom can further be misinterpreted by some countries leading to an increased production of nuclear energy from countries whose intent is to produce nuclear weapons within the Middle East and the Islamic states, thus, compromising the global security.

Additionally, it ‘s hard to dispose off the nuclear wastes. The nuclear wastes contain radioactive substances in them that could further lead to dangerous effects and changes in the gene system in the plants and animals that are exposed to the nuclear wastes. Finally, the production of energy from the nuclear sources is not sustainable. Uranium, the substance through which the nuclear power is generated is finite. Therefore, the continuous generation of electricity from nuclear power calls for increased extraction of Uranium from the Earth. The nuclear wastes have the capability of producing radioactive substance for tens of years. As such, the cost that the government incurs in the disposal of nuclear wastes and protection of the residues make it an expensive venture concerning the production of energy. The proven sustainable and relatively cheap means of disposing of the nuclear wastes is by burying the scraps in the sand. The process is known as vitrification. The vitrification process is also dangerous as it can be used by some people in the production of nuclear weapons (Great Britain 2008). Some nuclear power reactors such as the breeders are known to produce toxic substances that are deleterious to the environment. Notably, the breeders produce plutonium that alters the gene composition of humans, animals, plant beside being used in the production of a dirty bomb that is employed in wars. Weapons that are made from plutonium has the potential of causing extensive damage to the environment, thus, making it a dangerous product to produce.

Setting up of a nuclear reaction plant takes time and has to undertake rigorous legal procedures before its implementation. The setting of nuclear power plants takes about five years of rigorous and continuous work. The cost that is used in setting up the nuclear power plants is expensive compared to the cost of setting up wind or power plants that produce the same quantity of energy. The excellent location where the nuclear reactors are set up must be away from the people since they are unscenic and could cause accidents to the individuals in case of an accident. Finally, the availability of the raw material to be used in the raw materials is relatively expensive. Uranium is only available in some countries in the world, thus, making it a valuable investment since it is a scarce resource. Additionally, there are series of approvals that a country has to gain from the international authorities before the extraction of Uranium from the environment. The quantity of Uranium is limited and is only existent in the fixed numbers available on the Earth. The limited amount of Uranium makes it nonrenewable (Smith, 2006, p. 42)

In conclusion, the arguments on the advantage and disadvantages of nuclear energy need to be critiqued based on the efficacy of exploring the nuclear power option in the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom is increasingly making concerns over the production of renewable and clean energy. The energy that is generated from the nuclear power sources does not produce the greenhouse gasses, thus, making it a viable investment (Shrader-Frechette, 2011 p. 121). However, the cost that a country incurs in the production of nuclear energy is relatively high owing to the duration of setting up the nuclear plant, the cost of establishing a nuclear reactor including integration of the safety concerns and the approvals that must be sought. However, the United Kingdom needs to weigh the cost that it incurs in the cleaning of the environment from the unsustainable energy sources and the cost that it will incur in setting nuclear reactors. Concisely, nuclear power is a viable option for nuclear power production in the United Kingdom.

References

Baker, K., & Stoker, G. (2015). Nuclear power and energy policy: the limits to governance. http://public.eblib.com/choice/publicfullrecord.aspx?p=4008684.

Blowers, A. (2017). The legacy of nuclear power. New York; Rutledge.

Elliott, D. (2007). Nuclear or not?: does nuclear power have a place in a sustainable energy future? Basingstoke [England], Palgrave Macmillan. http://site.ebrary.com/id/10262538.

Great Britain. (2008). Meeting the energy challenge: a White Paper on nuclear power. [London], Stationery Office. http://nuclearpower2007.direct.gov.uk/docs/WhitePaper.pdf.

Great Britain. (2010). The sale of the government’s interest in British Energy: report. London, Stationery Office.

Irvine, J. M. (2011). Nuclear power: a very short introduction. Oxford: New York.

Shrader-Frechette, K. S. (2011). What will work: fighting climate change with renewable energy, not nuclear power. New York, Oxford University Press.

Smith, B. (2006). Insurmountable risks: the dangers of using nuclear power to combat global climate change. Takoma Park, MD, IEER.

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