Comparing Advantages And Disadvantages Of Nuclear Power Engineering Essay

August 1, 2017 Engineering

Research Question: Do the advantages of utilizing atomic power outweigh the disadvantages and therefore doing it a safe and economical method of bring forthing electricity?

At this clip it is believed that there are far more disadvantages than advantages when it comes to the usage of atomic power. This study will name the advantages and disadvantages and turn out that atomic power is the following stepping rock in technological promotions and a cleaner hereafter.


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The advantages of utilizing atomic power will outweigh the disadvantages and therefore it will be really good to utilize atomic power.



One of the chief advantages of atomic power is that it does non breathe a big measure of green house gases such as CO2 [ 1 ] [ 2 ] and therefore does non lend to planetary heating. In bend this allows for a cleaner planetary environment. As seen in the below diagram, Coal-fired power Stationss release 5912000 dozenss of CO2 per twelvemonth. Nuclear power Stationss use less than a 25th of that because they merely release 230000 dozenss of CO2 per twelvemonth. Therefore in the environmental facet, atomic power is safe and good for the universe ‘s hereafter.

Figure: A graph of the CO2 Emission by Each Power Source

Another advantage of atomic power is that it has comparatively low costs involved in its production [ 5 ] . It yields much more electrical energy for each unit of atomic fuel ( uranium rods ) used than the conventional dodo fuel power Stationss ( coal ) [ 1 ] [ 2 ] . Due to this it will besides be less to determine the resources needed to bring forth the same sum of energy as fossil fuels as is made apparent in the below graph. This consequences in atomic fuel bing much less per kilowatt hr for a consumer than any other method of bring forthing electricity [ fig. 2 ] . Therefore atomic power will be economically good for the universe ‘s electricity devouring population.

Figure: A graph demoing the US Electricity Production Costs for 1995 – 2008

An organisation known as the International Atomic Energy Agency ( IAEA ) is in topographic point to guarantee that all atomic power Stationss and atomic activity which occur anyplace in the universe is done without mistake which finally makes the usage of atomic power a safer option [ 7 ] . They implement criterions and ordinances which must be adhered to all atomic installations [ 7 ] . They oversee the installing of the atomic systems, the transporting of atomic stuffs [ 7 ] . Therefore finally it makes the use of atomic energy a safe one.

There are designs for improved atomic reactors such as the advanced reactor in Japan which has been runing since 1996 [ 6 ] . The major safety characteristic in this reactor is its inactive safety system. In the event of a malfunction, no intercession from an operator is required therefore extinguishing the opportunity of a human mistake [ 6 ] . If this safety characteristic was to be implemented in all atomic reactors so it would greatly heighten the safety of utilizing atomic power.

Other safety characteristics of atomic reactors include their three barriers between the fuel and the environment [ 6 ] . The fuel is in a solid ceramic pellet which forms the first barrier [ 6 ] . The fuel rods the, which are the pellets inside a closed Zr tubing, organize the 2nd barrier [ 6 ] . The concluding barrier is the containment of the fuel rods. They are stored in a steel force per unit area vas and this vas has walls up to 30cm midst therefore forestalling all radioactive radiation from get awaying. Other than those safety barriers the whole containment construction has one metre midst reinforced concrete walls [ 6 ] . Therefore in the event of a human mistake there are commissariats in topographic point to minimise the badness of the mistake and therefore increase the safety of utilizing atomic power.


The engineering and resources used for bring forthing atomic power can besides be used in malicious activities such as illegal atomic arms fabricating [ 1 ] . The IAEA has a security country specifically implemented to extinguish such events. It protects the conveyance and installings of atomic substances so that they can non be used for the above mentioned malicious activities [ 7 ] . Therefore this is no longer a major disadvantage of utilizing atomic power.

There is a possibility of a atomic reactor runing down due to human mistake or bad care. This will ensue in environmental devastation and/or human casualties [ 2 ] . If a homo is exposed to a radioactive substance so it is likely that that individual and their hereafter coevalss could endure from familial malformations. In the last 50 old ages at that place have merely been two serious atomic calamities: The Three Mile Island ( 1979 ) and Chernobyl ( 1986 ) . In the Three Mile Island incident the radiation was contained and there were no subsequent environmental or wellness jobs. There have been ten other meltdowns but they were largely a portion of a military or an experimental reactor and they did non ensue in any jeopardies on the reactor ‘s milieus. The first atomic power station of all time created was at Calder Hall in England [ 10 ] . It was created in 1956 and has had no operational jobs since [ 10 ] . This indicates that atomic reactors can be really safe and hence good. One of the demands of a atomic reactor is to guarantee that a nucleus meltdown must be restricted to the atomic works therefore guaranting the safety of nearby occupants and the environment. It can therefore be deducted that in the event of a reactor meltdown, our safety will non be compromised hence human or inadvertent mistake are non a annihilating issue.

Terrorism is a immense concern in relation to atomic reactors particularly since the 9/11 terrorist onslaught in New York [ 3 ] . The concern is that a terrorist will crash an aeroplane in to a atomic reactor or radioactive waste works but such atomic installations are some of the most terrorist onslaught immune substructures built [ 6 ] . This is because of their robust design ( one metre midst walls ) . Analysts have conducted experiments that have proved that atomic installations are terrorist cogent evidence. One of the experiments includes utilizing a Boeing 767 and a penetrating missile when proving the strength of installation. Therefore atomic reactors and radioactive waste installations are non prone to terrorist onslaughts.

The Earth ‘s supply of atomic fuel ( U ) is really limited and is merely expected to last for another 30 to 60 old ages [ 2 ] . Because of the rate of technological developments, it is likely that a new beginning of electricity will be discovered within 30 to 60 old ages. With this in head there is no ground to non utilize atomic power in the interim.

A big disadvantage of atomic power is that it takes approximately 20 to 30 old ages to make a atomic power station ( in western democracies ) [ 2 ] . The planning and edifice is really clip devouring [ 2 ] . This is non needfully a bad thing because it decreases the opportunities of an mistake happening which could hold potentially lead to a meltdown accident or any other accidents happening. This could besides increase the quality of the power station ‘s building which hence doing the atomic power station safe to utilize.


As can be seen from the above mentioned points, the usage of atomic power has legion benefits, both in footings of economic sciences and safety. There are besides disadvantages to utilizing atomic power but there are solutions available that either contradict the disadvantage or minimise its badness. Therefore the advantages of utilizing atomic power far outweigh the disadvantages which makes atomic power a safe and economical option.



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