Nuclear energy is one of the cleanest, most efficient sources of power on earth. To produce 1 kwh of energy nuclear power plant only emit 12gm of carbon dioxide while to produce same amount of energy coal plant emit about 820gm of carbon dioxide. Factoring in the environmental cost of production, nuclear energy is cleaner than hydropower, than geothermal, than solar, than any energy source except wind. But that doesn’t mean that it is the safest, long-term solution of our energy need. The biggest drawback of nuclear energy is nuclear waste. Nuclear waste is the most poisonous substance on earth.
What is Nuclear Waste:
All current nuclear power plant work on the basis of nuclear fission. Where one atom of radioactive material split into two and in this process huge amount of energy releases.Typically Uranium rod is used as the fuel of nuclear power plant. After six to eight years of usage in nuclear power plant it releases enough of its energy that it is no longer useful for reactor and become nuclear waste.
Why Nuclear Waste is So Dangerous:
Nuclear waste is most destructive and indestructible waste in human history. It carries this harsh level because the waste remain radioactive for hundreds of thousands or millions of year. Radiation is dangerous for living organisms because it affects cells in the body. This often results in their malfunction, which can cause cancer or even worse, the cells can die. And the worst part is we still don’t know how to deal with these waste. Our primary way of dealing with radioactive waste at the moment is to simply store it somewhere. But this is not the long term solution that’s make it more dangerous.
How Are We Dealing With Nuclear Waste:
Every bit of nuclear waste in existence is in temporary storage facilities to be used until a long-term solution is built. Most of that nuclear waste is stored in pools of water. Water does a decently good job of shielding radiation so this is an inexpensive and easy way of storing the rods. Usually these pools are physically inside the nuclear power plants so, when spent fuel is removed from the reactor, it’s put directly into the water and left there for ten to twenty years for cooling down. Once nuclear waste has cooled in storage pools then it is encased in container. These concrete and steel container block radiation. But these containers need human maintenance after few years otherwise it could easily be damaged or breached overtime and can release radiation into the environment. So this solution is far from perfect or permanent.
Our Future Plan:
Finland is making world’s first permanent nuclear waste storage facility. Finland is far from any natural disasters. It doesn’t have earthquake or tsunami or any natural phenomenon. Beneath an island in the Finnish Baltic Sea coast the country is making this facility. In 2020 they’ll start filling the facility with nuclear waste, once it’s filled in the year 2120, it will be left forever, at least for 100000 years. Because the material will be so far down and so difficult to get to, no human management will be necessary once completed. Opening the nuclear storage facilities would release radiation into a future civilization so US Department of Energy Commissioned create a special type message of so that no future civilization won’t open that.
Modern humans have only existed for about 200,000 years, so one can hardly be sure that the species will survive for the millions of years that the most toxic nuclear waste will continue to emit radiation. What’s more, one can hardly expect that the dominant civilization that have nuclear technology today will continue to exist for even thousands of years. So Nuclear Energy isn’t the solution for clean energy what we want for our future generation.