Can nuclear energy be a main alternative energy socio-economically rather than other alternative energy to decrease global warming?
Nowadays it seems that most people recognize about the severity of global warming. Houghton (1997) believes that increasing alternative energy rather than using fossil fuels is very important to decrease global warming. Therefore, I chose this topic: Can nuclear energy be a main alternative energy socio-economically rather than other alternative energy to decrease global warming?
This assignment will identify why serious global warming started and discuss about nuclear energy as an alternative energy. Finally, it will be examined how ...view middle of the document...
Perhaps the earth may have been sick from that time. It can be said that selfish desire of human led to serious global warming. In fact, global warming led to unpredictable global climate change. Global climate change can make serious problems such as rising sea level, droughts, floods, inundation of coastal areas, fires, diseases, destroying ecosystems. (Jepma & Munasinghe, 1998). With this issue, alternative energy such as nuclear power, hydro power, wind power and solar power was developed.
Nuclear power as an alternative energy
Nuclear energy is made from nuclear reaction such as fission or fusion. In 1940s nuclear technology was first developed to produce nuclear bombs during the Second World War. In the 1950s the first commercial nuclear power plants started working for the peaceful purposes. Today, much electricity from nuclear energy is produced as much as electricity from all energy combined in 1960. Also, over 430 commercial nuclear power reactors exist in 31 countries and almost 11.5% of global electricity is produced from nuclear power reactors in the 31 countries (World Nuclear Association, January, 2014).
Nowadays 16 countries gain at least a fourth of their electricity from nuclear power. France gain three fourth of its electricity from nuclear energy. Also, Ukraine, Slovenia, Switzerland, Sweden, Slovakia, Hungary, Belgium and Czech Republic gain around one third of their power from nuclear power. In addition, South Korea, Finland and Bulgaria usually gain over 30% of their electricity from nuclear energy. Furthermore, Russia, Spain, UK and USA gain almost one fifth of their power from nuclear power. However, Denmark and Italy gain around one tenth of their electricity from nuclear energy (World Nuclear Association, January, 2014).
Advantages of nuclear energy
There are many advantages from nuclear energy. Even though accidents are possible, with current nuclear technology, it is very unlikely that accidents such as at Three Mile Island or Chernobyl happen again and spent fuel can be stored safely on-site at nuclear plants because the quantity of spent fuel is small enough. Also, people who are living and working around nuclear power plants are safe because the amount of radiation that a nuclear power plant gives off is low enough. Furthermore, burning fossil fuels has bad effects immediately on our environment. However, nuclear has a lot of benefits more than risks and is much cleaner than burning fossil fuels. In addition, there are abundant uranium and it just needs very little when make a large amount of energy. Also, it is probable that new stores of uranium are discovered. It means that we can use nuclear power for many centuries. Finally, nuclear generated electricity is very cost-effective much more than other energy such as hydro power, wind power and solar power (Haney,January, 2012).
Disadvantages of nuclear energy
On the other hand, there are some disadvantages. As we know about the...