The minimum amount of energy required for disassembling the nucleus of an atom into its components is known as nuclear energy. The elements of an atom are known as nucleons consisting of neutrons and protons (“Nuclear – Energy Explained, Your Guide to Understanding Energy – Energy Information Administration”). Energy is required for moving the nucleons from one another since the nucleons are attracted by the nuclear force, hence the binding energy is always kept positive. The sum of the mass of the individual masses of protons and neutrons is more than that of the mass of an atomic nucleus (Comby, Bruno). This is in according to the Einstein’s equation. E=mc^2. The missing mass in this equation represents mass detect. This mass detect is the energy released when the nucleus is formed.
The origin of nuclear energy is through two main sources that are the fusion and the fission reaction. A fission reaction can produce a lot of energy nearly 10 million of energy, enormous energy can be prepared with fusion reaction as well, but it has not been done since the reaction cannot be controlled instantly. The term ‘nuclear energy’ is getting one of the notable highlights in the present time. Although the term of nuclear energy comes with some bitter memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the destruction caused in these places it has some attractive feature as well. The utilization of nuclear energy can be made clean, safe and reliable. Nuclear energy can be used at a competitive cost with not greenhouse emission and its compactness (Comby, Bruno). This essay will be addressing the reliable utilization of nuclear energy in the countries of the United States and France which is supporting the countries economically, environmentally and technologically as well.
Using fossil fuels for the generation of electricity causes issues like the emission of greenhouse gases which is adverse for the health of human beings and all the living beings as a whole. In this case, nuclear energy is one the reliable sources of the generation of electricity. Nuclear energy is completely safe for the environment. However, the generation of electricity needs to be managed safely. Some of the pros of nuclear energy are mentioned as follow:
Nuclear reactors can produce power 90 percent of the time making this source of energy base-load electricity. The periods of refueling can be extended using the substantial method. This shows that the down timing of refueling has lessened significantly. With the passage of time, these advancements have been seen in the country of the United States. This country has developed reactors with the latest advancements equated to exist for years. Reports have shown that there are some reactors in the United States which can survive for more than 40 years (Kato, Yukitaka). Out of these reactors, many reactors are reaching the verge of perfection making their ages to be perfect. Projections have listed that these reactors can still operate for than twenty years. Hence the reactors developed in the United States are a good source of conserving energy for the future. With the consumption of energy in this, the economic conditions of the country are getting better as well.
Figure 1: Countries depending on nuclear power for electricity
Cited: (Kato, Yukitaka)
No greenhouse gas emissions:
According to the recent survey carried out, it has been found out that the energy production depends highly on coal. The production of electricity from coal is causing the emission of greenhouse gases. These gases are dangerous for the survival of human beings since many issues are being caused by the respiratory system of the human beings.
Figure 2: World Electricity Production by Source 2017
Cited: (Rayson, Linda)
In this case, the utilization of nuclear reactors for the generation of electricity is the best possible option. Nuclear reactor emits zero greenhouse gases. The nuclear reactors are developed with the help of uranium. In the process of mining and enrichment of uranium, some of the greenhouse gasses are emitted, but this amount is less than that of the gases emitted in the generation of electricity with the help of coal. Hence nuclear reactors are a good source for electricity generation as compared to the Fossil Fuels. From a long period, France has been working on this concept to save their nation from different diseases (Clarke, Emilia).
Nuclear energy is considered as one of the sustainable energy source in the 21st century. One of the reasons behind this statement is the competitive cost associated with nuclear energy. The cost of nuclear power is stable to some extent and competitive in many perspectives. The power made from the different kind of fossil fuels is highly dependent on the current situation of the market. When the oil price is good, the stability in the market price can be easily observed. However, when the market is volatile there is evident shoot up in the price of the oil (Kessler, G.). This shows that there is instability in the prices of the power production in using the fossil fuels and oil whereas nuclear energy gives us stability and a cost that can make the economy of the country well-stable. The United States has been utilizing the competitive cost in making the economy of the country even stronger than before.
Many researchers have stated that nuclear energy is a compact form of energy. The space occupied by the nuclear power station is compact. It mostly covers an area of a football stadium and some of the surroundings for production of energy where the production of energy from other sources needs a vast amount of space to carry on the production process (Shellenberger, Michael). Wind turbines, solar cells, and growing biomass all need a huge area of land. Such compact nuclear energy plants are seen in the United States and France as well. Recently the construction of nuclear power stadium in France is a clear description of this compactness.
Figure 3: one of the stills from the nuclear power station in France
Cited: (Shellenberger, Michael)
More proficient than the use of fossil fuels:
It has been found out that the use of nuclear energy is more proficient than that of fossil fuels due to so many competitive advantages (Morbee, J. et al.). The recent nuclear innovations and the other already existing are making this form of energy more feasible in comparison to others. The energy density of the reactors made by the nuclear reaction is more than that of the fossil fuels. Moreover, these reactors once developed are available for a large span of time. The amount of fuel required by the nuclear power plant is comparatively less than what is required by other power plants as the energy released by nuclear fission is approximately ten million times greater than the amount of energy released by fossil fuel atom(Morbee, J. et al.). This is the reasons for investment in this form of energy. Every nation is deciding to utilize nuclear energy as the major source of energy and for the production of electricity as well.
Safe nuclear power plants in present time:
The modern-day nuclear power points are considered to be safe and better for the production of energy from different perspectives. All those countries developing nuclear power plants have a lot to learn from the past experiences or incidents that happened in the past like that of Japan. Countries like the United States and France are making nuclear power plants in such a way that these accidents from the past are avoided. All precautionary measures are taken along with the remedies for the future problems that can be encountered in any case. One of the precautions taken is the independence from the external electricity: (Shellenberger, Michael). The current nuclear power plants do not depend on the external electricity for any supply. For cooling, no external supplied of water are being used in the modern nuclear power plants. Instead of external water supply, water is fed from the gravity, the convection heat exchangers and also from the pressurized water tanks having certain gas in them. Such systems are referred as a passive safety system.
Underground installation of reactors in modern power plants:
The passive safety systems have an underground installation of reactors. This installation offers more insulation in comparison to other power plants. The reactors are now safe from the unauthorized access which directly saves the wrong use of the reactors. Besides this, all external hazards are handled in this. The United States is implementing this system currently in all the power plants of the country.
Substantially low cost of operations:
Setting up nuclear power plants is costly since it involves a lot of new technology but once the power plant gets installed the country is ready to enjoy the perks of good economic conditions. The electricity produced afterward the setting up of the power plant is relatively cheap. The raw material used in the production of nuclear energy is uranium (Nash, R. S., and P. B. Woollam). This is one of the cheap radioactive materials used in the production of nuclear energy. This shows that the start of production is not expensive.
Raw material used in production of nuclear energy:
Once the set-up of the power plant is done, the maintenance charges are extremely low since the plant is set up with every kind of underground installation which makes the technology safe and reliable for further use. Even if market shifts occur and the cost of uranium shoots up, the effect on the cost of power will hardly be felt. Therefore the effect of the market in case of the production of nuclear energy is less since the raw material used can be more expensive than that of the fossil fuels used in energy production (Nash, R. S., and P. B. Woollam). The power plant in the United States is using cheap uranium for the production of electricity which has given cost-effective electricity production.
Power and efficient form of energy:
Utilization of nuclear energy for the production of energy is getting powerful with every passing day. This source of energy is efficient in comparison to the alternative forms of energy available (Shellenberger, Michael). Its readily available energy has changed the economic condition of many underdeveloped countries and made the developed countries stronger.
Readily available technology:
This technology is readily available; it does not have to be developed first (Shellenberger, Michael). The development in other means of technology has made nuclear power a viable source in comparison to other forms of energy. Its reliability and readily available technology are making many countries like the United States and France to invites in this technology in a large amount. At present, a small portion of the world electricity is coming from the nuclear power plants set up in the entire world.
To sum up, one of the major highlights of the present time is observed in the form of nuclear energy, Nuclear energy obtained by the splitting up of the components of an atom has gained much popularity in the recent times. Although there are many bad incidents associated with this technology, this technology is changing technology, economic conditions and health conditions in many of the countries Like the United States and France. Many compact power plants are observed in both of the countries. The reason why these countries are making a huge investment in this form of energy is the portion of electricity coming from this energy. This form of energy has reduced the issue of the population with no emission of greenhouse gases. Its competitive cost is helping in making cheap electricity. The time is not far when electricity will be accessible to every person with cheap rates. External hazards associated with the nuclear power plants are overcome in the modern power plants where the reactors are installed underground. Nuclear reactors can produce power 90 percent of the time making this source of energy base-load electricity. This is the reason nuclear energy is turning into a reliable source of energy utilization. However, this form of energy is still not renewable.
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