One of the major advantages of nuclear power is that by generating electricity by nuclear reactors, nuclear power plants do not produce carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas causing global warming. Experts have proved that Britain’s power plants have decreased the nation’s carbon dioxide emission by between 7 and 14 per cent. Although even nuclear energy isn’t 100 per cent clean, it is considered carbon free. Secondly, nuclear power plants provide low-cost energy at a stable price, and have relatively low operating cost.
Researches have proven that the operating and maintaining cost have been declining over the past decades. Furthermore, nuclear power plants can be operated for an extended period of time. Needless to say, low price energy is very beneficial for the industry. On the other hand, nuclear power plants produce nuclear waste, which is not biodegradable and is extremely dangerous. Moreover, it remains hazardous for thousands of years.
There ere several ways in which nuclear waste is stored, such as burying the waste under the ocean floor, storing it underground or shooting it into space. The most promising option so far is burying it underground. However, this method poses great threat to wildlife, and if nuclear waste comes into contact with groundwater, it can easily contaminate it. One of the most potent arguments that has been put against nuclear energy is the issue of nuclear disasters. Nuclear disasters occurred in Chernobyl in 1986 and in Fukushima in 2011.
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Although risks for such catastrophes are not high, there can be serious consequences: dozens of people died due to exposure of radiation, cancer rates increased in much of the population which was exposed to radioactive contamination, and substantial amounts of radiation got into the atmosphere. In conclusion, it can be argued that nuclear energy has its own risks, but if it is used with caution, it is a valuable energy source. There are lots of nuclear power plants around the world and shutting them down would be a waste of energy and money. However, it would be beneficial for humanity to invest in safer energy resources.