What is clean energy for you? Some people immediately think about solar panels and wind turbines, but how many of you consider nuclear energy?
Nuclear power is sometimes overlooked when discussing “clean energy,” despite being the world’s second-largest source of low-carbon electricity, after hydropower.
So, how clean and long-lasting is nuclear power?
For starters, know these simple facts and the benefits of nuclear energy.
Nuclear Energy Is a Zero-Emission Power Source
It generates electricity by fission, which is the separation of uranium atoms to produce energy. The heat provided by fission is utilized to create steam, which powers a turbine to generate energy without the hazardous pollutants produced by fossil fuels.
According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, the United States averted more than 476 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2019. That’s more than all other forms of clean energy combined, and it’s the equivalent of removing 100 million cars from the road.
It also cleans the air by eliminating thousands of tons of toxic air pollutants each year that cause acid rain, smog, lung cancer, and cardiovascular illness.
Nuclear Energy Has a Small Environmental Imprint
Nuclear energy provides more electricity in less area than any other clean-air source yet produces vast volumes of carbon-free energy.
In the United States, a typical 1,000-megawatt nuclear power plant requires a little more than 1 square mile to run. According to the National Energy Institute, wind farms require 360 times more land to produce the same power as solar photovoltaic plants. In contrast, solar photovoltaic plants require 75 times more acreage.
To create the same energy as a typical commercial reactor, over 3 million solar panels or more than 430 wind turbines would be compulsory (capacity factor not included).
Nuclear Energy Generates Minimal Waste
It’s around a million times bigger than other traditional energy sources; therefore, the amount of nuclear fuel used isn’t as large as you may assume.
All of the used nuclear fuel produced by the nuclear energy sector in the United States during the last 60 years would fit on a football field with a depth of fewer than 10 yards!
Although the United States does not now do so, garbage can also be treated and recycled.
Some sophisticated reactor designs in development, on the other hand, could run on wasted fuel.
The NICE Future Initiative, a global effort led by the Clean Energy Ministerial, ensures that nuclear power is taken into account when creating advanced clean energy systems in the future.
More About Its Advantages
Thanks to technologies like insect sterilization and the production of new plant breeds that require less water and are more resistant to climate change, nuclear techniques help reduce insect plagues and develop crops.
Using nuclear reactor-generated thermal processes, desalination of seawater produces clean water without the greenhouse gas emissions produced by fossil-fuel-based desalination machines.
Cities and human settlements benefit from nuclear power because it makes them safer, more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable. Almost everyone is affected by pollution in cities caused by exhaust gasses from gasoline or diesel automobiles and heating boilers. Nuclear power generates a significant percentage of the electricity needed to charge electric vehicles, and it can also be used for district heating, reducing pollution caused by fossil fuels.
enCore Energy Corp. is a domestic uranium developer in the United States. Know more information about the benefits of nuclear energy by checking our project highlights.