The unfortunate heightened gas prices have citizens looking into electric vehicles at an increasing rate. Consequently there needs to be enough electricity to power all of the new appliances but there are no current efficient enough mass electricity producers. This is where the most reliable electricity generating source comes in; Nuclear Energy. What makes an energy source reliable?Efficiency, and that applies to how efficient that source is at producing energy and how easy it is to store. With the world on its last legs of fossil fuels and oil reserves, and the massive negative impacts of the global CO2 emissions. The Earth is desperate for a reliable renewable energy source. Nuclear energy is the solution to this international crisis.
Nuclear energy surrounds us, at the core of an atom. Once shot at by a Uranium atom, splits and produces a large amount of heat energy which creates a chain reaction to other nearby atoms and continuously splits releasing immense heat energy. This heat is then focused through insulated cylinders through to a construct with water that is boiled and the steam emitted spins turbines. Those turbines then spin a generator creating electricity. The process takes place on a Nuclear power plant. The biggest concern with these power plants are the radiation emission and where it goes. Obviously we as humans are exposed to radiation everyday but the level of concentration such as the one in the plant would be fatal. In which case research and development teams constructed multiple layers around the power plant that contain small ceramic pellets that sit inside metal rods that act as containment for the radiation. Although this alone would be enough to be safe from the radiation in an inner layer, the reactor vessel is covered in the ‘containment sector’ which is five feet thick (U.S, N.R.C).
The technology is already in place powering 20 percent of all of U.S electricity used on a daily basis. With only 28 active reactors, and four more in construction set to finish by sometime in 2025. The reactors remain operational and monitored 24/7 at a 93% capacity factor with little to no maintenance because of the bottomless supply of resources. In comparison the already in place coal burning power plants operate at a capacity factory 2 times less, burning lots more of its resource for only a fraction of the energy produced. To top it all off, what makes nuclear energy even more efficient is that the waste can be recycled for more energy and “the use of nuclear power has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by more than 60 gigatonnes over the past 50 years” (IEA).
Nuclear Energy is not only a very reliable efficient electricity generating source but also very green. Consequently, allowing for the restoration of the ozone layer and combat the effects of climate change that have and have yet to happen. Lastly the capabilities of Nuclear energy far outdo its predecessors, with a one inch sized uranium pellet equating to 120 gallons of oil or 1 ton of coal burned(Nicole Jawerth). The misconceptions and stigma behind Nuclear Energy is halting the full potential in which we are capable of creating. Hopefully, the desire to save money on gas will result in unlocking the full potential of Nuclear Energy and the complete switch to electric vehicles.