The Effects of Nuclear Energy (and its reputation among the public)


In the past 68 years, Nuclear energy has developed an everlasting reputation- one that would continue among the human race for years to come. But is it really that bad?

Uranium was only used as a power source starting in 1951, but was discovered almost 200 years before then. Ever since, it has been known as a power source for homes, bombs, and much more! However, the public generalization of nuclear power is only destructive. They are not entirely wrong, either, as there have been several accidents and explosions from bombs that completely changed the course of history.

Despite this, nuclear energy is actually the safest form of energy discovered so far by man. The number of deaths from nuclear power are almost 40 times smaller per single unit of electricity than most fossil fuels. This is because dealing and refining highly flammable substances can cause many deaths and injuries, whereas uranium is a fire hazard, but cannot cause a major explosion without nuclear fission. It is also renewable, meaning that it can be reused, creating a seemingly infinite stream of energy.

Unlike other forms of energy, burning uranium does not cause air pollution directly; mining it and refining it will require large amounts of energy, but nuclear fission itself does not release CO2, making it more environment friendly than other energy sources.

However, it isn’t entirely environment friendly, either. When uranium is used for nuclear fission, it releases radioactive materials, which are then buried into the soil. Some of this waste seeps into ground water, and cancer rates increase because of it.

If nuclear energy was used as a primary source of energy, it could change the course of human history forever. Although it is not entirely safe, it is still the safest and most reliable of all sources.