Nuclear power is a necessary evil of the age. It’s sort of a catch 22. If you use it you face some dire consequences, and if you don’t you still run out of energy resources. The drawback is: nuclear power has very little chances of reducing carbon emissions worldwide and also is a potential for nuclear terrorism. A recent research paper published by Oxford research group (ORG) dealt with these issues.
The authors Frank Barnaby and James Kemp have both written in the ORG ‘Too hot to handle? The Future of Civil Nuclear Power’. According to the writers, the security issue of the nuke power can be somewhat managed. What cannot be managed is the effect on the environment.
I do second this thought of the authors. Here’s my take on the issue. I do agree that the nuke plants can be protected with considerable amount of investment in security.
Nuclear power is extremely disastrous as we know. If this falls in the wrong hands, people might not live long enough. Also, if there’s a third world war, entire human race will be completely wiped out from the effects of the nuclear energy. It is extremely crucial to protect this energy form, which is achievable.
In order to protect this power, a lot of investment in industrial security is required. Most of the Western nations like US and UK have extensive security measures to protect their nuclear power plants. Armed guards, physical, barriers and detection systems are the systems that keep things intact in the West. However, the third world countries dealing with this kind of power is a headache to the West. This is because security infiltration becomes a big issue in this case. This is why the US, Russia and the UK are onto Iranian nuclear plants. They don’t want the power to fall in the wrong hands.
When I take into consideration the environmental aspect of this form of energy, I feel terrible. This is because of the carbon emissions from nuclear power plant that’s puncturing the ozone layer.
What’s happening ?
Currently, nuclear energy is used as an alternative source for power. Most of the plants are relying on low grade uranium ores, which increases CO2 emissions from nuclear cycles. This cause rapid environmental degradation as the gas is released from the plants. According to stats, nuclear reactors emit 4 to 5 times more CO2 than fossil fuels.
So once the damage is done to the environment from these reactors and the power plants, it becomes really hard to reverse the process and heal the environmental wounds. Therefore, I agree with the ORG paper which basically says that nuclear power is releasing more CO2 to the environment.
Cheap and clean nuclear power is a myth as of now. Also, the more nuclear plants would increase terrorism threat.