Green Energy - Nuclear Power

Greenhouse - Green Energy - Nuclear Power

Nuclear Power, while a target for many environmentalist, it still makes the list when discussing cleaner alternatives to burning fossil fuel for the purpose of generating electricity. Nuclear power is created at the atomic level by splitting the atom of an unstable element (i.e. plutonium) which creates a vast amount of energy in the form of heat. The heat from this nuclear reaction is used to turn water into steam that drives electricity producing turbines.

While nuclear power plants are considered safe when generated properly there are some considerations that have kept it from being more widely adopted as a source for electricity.

Benefits of Nuclear Power

  • Nuclear Power Plants are clean and safe when operated properly.
  • Nuclear Power costs around the same amount if not less than generating power using fossil fuels - The main cost for nuclear power is not in fuel, but operating a nuclear power plant.
  • Nuclear Power Plants generate steam and not the harmful green gasses coal plants emit.

Nuclear Power Draw-backs

  • Risk of reactor melt-down - A melt-down occurs when it's core is allowed to react uncontrolled. A reaction too large for the reactor to contain leads to the elements in its construction to melt-down.
  • Security Threat - The fuel for a nuclear reactor is high sought after by terrorist organizations for use in attacks.
  • Thermal Pollution - The bi-product created when generating nuclear power is heated water that is released back into the environment. This heated water adversely affects the surrounding echo-system.
  • High-Level Nuclear Waste - Another bi-product of generating nuclear power is the spent nuclear fuel which is high radio active. Waste facilities have been set up around the country, but there is still the cost and security concerns around waste transport.
  • Low-Level Nuclear Waste - Radio active rags, clothing and equipment.