Over the past decades, Nuclear Energy Facts have evolved and many sides regarding the topic have emerged drawing endless debates and conflicting views regarding the topic. While it is true that nuclear energy is one of the most efficient sources of power across the world, many scientists argue that this type of power source has a lot of negative effects than the benefits it could produce. On a larger scale, several nuclear power plants across the world have been shut down due to health and safety reasons.
A closer look to nuclear energy
In a nutshell, nuclear energy is a type of energy stored inside the cell’s nucleus. But before nuclear energy is produced, it undergoes several processes including the splitting of the atoms of the elements plutonium and uranium. The process of splitting of the Uranium and Plutonium’s atoms is being carefully-done inside a reactor in a very careful and controlled manner.
The end product of the splitting process is now the energy that individual household use to power all the appliances and mobilizes the operation of major industries across the world. Due to its inexpensiveness, nuclear energy as a power source has become a very favorite option for countries that have huge demand of power but limited resources that could support its ever growing demand.
In the history
The history of mass production of nuclear energy has started on June 26, 1954 in Obninsk, Russia when the Russian APS-1 power plant put up the world’s power plant with a net generating capacity of 5MW of energy that can power thousands of households and companies with a scale of operation up to large scale. APS-1’s produced energy was connected to power grid and was produced for commercial purposes only.
Two years after, on August 27, 1956, the first commercial and mass producing power plant was made in England—Calder Hall 1—with a net generating capacity of 50 MW which is 10 times than the generating capacity of the first power plant built by the Russians.
What the statistics say
Based on power statistics released in June of 2009, there are at least 31 countries that have power plants. All in all, there are a total of 436 nuclear power plants across the world that produce energy in a large scale and commercially.
These 436 operational nuclear power plants have a combined net negating capacity of 370 GW. For the past three years, at least 15 countries across the world have been building 42 new nuclear power plants.
In France alone, nuclear energy powers the 77 percent of the total power demand where in USA, 19.4 of power are sourced from nuclear energy. This only means that nuclear power plays a vital role in the world’s power needs. With the growing power demand, many countries of the world, particularly European countries are eyeing more nuclear plants in order to meet their daily power needs.
Nuclear around the world
While many countries want to have a power source that is environmentally-friendly and at the same time can provide power to its consumers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, many power companies still prefer this cheap and practical power source but pose several drawbacks.
Different power generating companies and experts across the world have projected that the world’s power demand will continue to increase a sky high of 50 percent by the end of 2030—that’s less than 20 years from now.
This only means that the world, in general, must devise a plan and strategy on how to meet this high power demand and at the same time, not compromising the environment.
Clean energy doesn’t come cheap
However, everything comes with a price. Even a cheap source of power just like nuclear energy comes with horrible drawbacks. Aside from the potential health hazards that it can cause to the people, nuclear energy can also cause thousand deaths when its reactors explode. This horrific incident has already happened in the past in different countries where nuclear energy is widely used.
For world leaders and even to ordinary citizens, it is best to know all Nuclear Energy Facts that will enable the government craft measures that are appropriate in developing legislations or perhaps create program that will ensure power sustainability and at the same time, measures that will ensure equal protection of the environment from abuses and possible damage that hazardous power plant may cause.