Nuclear reactors are the future of energy production. Nuclear energy can produce over 500 zeta joules of power; which is equal to about 1000 times the current energy consumption of the world. The usage of nuclear energy is declining and if power companies do not begin utilizing nuclear energy, a lot of needless pollution will be released into the atmosphere causing further damage to our already badly damaged planet. Usage of nuclear energy had been steadily rising until the fukushima disaster in Japan. This disaster caused nuclear energy usage and acceptance to drop drastically. Germany began phasing out nuclear energy and plan to have all reactors shutdown by 2022. Nuclear energy should be fully utilized because nuclear reactors have a high energy output, great longevity, and lower carbon dioxide emissions.
Nuclear reactors can produce endless amounts of energy for a low input cost and minimal fuel consumption. Reactors produce about six percent of the world's energy and is used as a primary energy source in one country; France. France has seventy six percent of its energy created by nuclear energy and an accident has never occurred. This article was peer reviewed and the author, Alexander Stanculescu, works at the Idaho National Laboratory and collaborates his research with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
However, nuclear energy is not the only source of energy that can produce a plethora of energy. There are not only cheaper options, but safer ones as well. Nuclear disaster are devastating events and will have massive implications on the environment. Also, the long term storage of nuclear waste is a problem that still exists and has not been solved for sixty years. Hydroelectric energy is not only cheaper than nuclear , it can produce almost twice the energy.
Nuclear energy is more expensive in the short run, but the costs of maintaining a reactor are less. As coal becomes more scarce, the costs of maintaining a traditional coal fired will sky rocket making it less viable. Hydroelectric produces more energy, but if there is a period where the river dries up or becomes more shallow, little to no energy will be produced. Nuclear energy produces constant energy year round regardless of outside environmental circumstances. Both nuclear disasters and the failure of hydroelectric producing dams can be equally dangerous. The Chernobyl disaster in Russia caused the deaths of 3,000 people, which is considered the worst disaster in nuclear history. The Banqiao Reservoir Dam failure in China caused massive amounts of damage and not just monetary. Over 177,000 people lost their lives and 11 million people lost their homes. Chernobyl, on the other hand, caused the deaths of 3,000 people and displaced 50,000 people, nothing compared to the failure of a single dam. Also, the radioactive waste that comes from reactors is handled safely. There have not been any accidents due to the mishandling of nuclear waste.