Nuclear power is the harnessed energy from fission of the nuclei mainly of elements in the actinide series of the chemical periodic table. The harnessed power is then used mostly to produce electricity for domestic and industrial use (Markandya & Wilkinson, 2007). Though nuclear power provides cheap and reliable energy, it cannot be classified as clean. Among the disadvantages of nuclear energy is the radioactive waste that comes from the process, which is very difficult to dispose of without harming the environment (Burgherr & Hirschberg, 2008).
This paper discusses nuclear energy comparative to other types and concludes that the use of nuclear power has more disadvantages than the available alternatives.
Comparative Analysis of Energy Sources
Nuclear energy is viewed as clean fuel because the only substance emitted from cooling plants during its production is water vapor, which neither pollutes the environment nor causes global warming. The carbon emissions from fossil fuels, on the other hand, cause both pollution and warming (Burgherr & Hirschberg, 2008). Nevertheless, natural energy sources such as hydroelectricity, geothermal and wind energy are clean as well (Burgherr & Hirschberg, 2008).
However, unlike the other sources of energy, nuclear power generation is prone to devastating accidents such as the 1979 Three Mile Island and the 1986 Chernobyl disasters (Rüdig, 1990). Moreover, it still poses a real headache to come up with a reliable formula of disposing of nuclear waste which remains radioactive and harmful for eons (Burgherr & Hirschberg, 2008).
Nuclear energy may have harmless emissions during fission and the potential of longevity, but so long as it remains prone to accidents and has harmful waste, it will not be the first choice form of energy.