The Germans Made a Mistake on Nuclear Energy
Due to protests from over 200 000 Germans, Chancellor Angela Merkel had made a decision to phase out all nuclear energy by the end of 2022. This decision was made despite the fact that nuclear energy supplies 22% of total energy needs of Germans.
Is eliminating nuclear energy a right move? I think Germans need to revise their decision. Our energy hungry world surely needs nuclear energy. Controlled use of nuclear energy can surely benefit the human kind. Other countries with huge deposits of uranium should not follow Germany's example. Uranium needs to be utilized to the full.
Uranium is the most efficient and economical source of energy. Consider this: one gram of uranium-235 can produce as much energy as ten kilograms of coal. In a nuclear reactor nuclear fission occurs when a uranium atom is split due to bombardment by neutrons. When uranium is split more neutrons and a lot of energy are produced. The neutrons produced cause further fission of uranium 235 producing more neutrons and energy. Thus a chain reaction occurs and whenever uranium 235 is split, more energy is produced. In a nuclear reactor, the energy produced heat water to steam which turns the turbines and produce electrical energy.
If compared with other sources of energy, nuclear energy has great benefits. A nuclear reactor occupies a very small piece of land. A nuclear reactor can be a compact building of a size of a football stadium. Unlike in the case of solar energy which needs hectares of land to accommodate solar panels.
Nuclear energy is 24/7 reliable and its source uranium is available in abundance in the earth's crust. There are major deposits in Canada and Australia.
Nuclear energy is environmentally friendly. Unlike oil which pollutes the air through emission of carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide and also cause global warming. Although solar and wind energy are environmentally friendly, they are not as reliable and convenient as nuclear energy. Sunlight is free but it is not available 24/7 and the availability of solar energy is only limited to sunny areas. Wind energy is limited to windy areas and electrical energy generation using wind can only be practiced on a small scale.
Although coal is inexpensive and easy to recover in countries like USA and Russia, it contributes to acid rain and global warming. Combustion of coal liberates harmful gases like carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide which cause acid rain.
Therefore even though nuclear energy production is associated with potential radioactive hazards and accidents, the world should not eliminate it but use it wisely and with extreme caution.