Nuclear power plants are great in the aspect of generating clean, renewable energy without polluting the air or releasing greenhouse gasses. However, the byproduct is radioactive material and can be extremely toxic; causing burns, increasing the risk for cancers and blood disease. Does this make them worth it when there are other alternatives? Do we need nuclear in order to become net zero? Ideally, we will find alternate solutions that don’t present health risks, however, given our current environmental climate and the urgency to become net zero and reduce greenhouse gases, nuclear may be a short-term solution while we work towards more friendly, long-term infrastructure and systems.
When comparing nuclear energy to other sources, I believe that nuclear energy seems to be an adequate source of energy for the moment. I recall that one of the advantages of nuclear energy is that it has a low greenhouse emission rate, compared to that of coal or natural gas. Additionally, nuclear energy is a reliable energy source since it does not have to rely on external factors that fluctuate, like the sun or wind, in order to produce energy. However, one of the downsides of nuclear energy is its radioactive waste that contains hazardous substances which have made its transportation challenging and have led to some accidents. Moreover, although nuclear power plants produce cheap electricity, the initial cost of constructing nuclear power plants is extremely expensive. This acts as a barrier when it comes to wanting to construct more nuclear power plants. All in all, although I’m not as knowledgeable on nuclear energy, I believe that nuclear energy could be reliable in the short run, however, there still needs to be more technological development to help it become a sustainable and principal form of energy for the long run.