Nuclear power is an electricity generating method by using the heat released by the combination of uranium-235 and neutron. Atomic energy was firstly used in 1951, which was in the last 100 years, but it is currently one of the main ways to produce electricity. This paper will examine the success of atomic energy, in order to find out the reasons how nuclear power has become a game changer which created a great influence to our world.
Nuclear power has given countries a new way to generate electricity efficiently, which changed the world’s electricity generating trend. Before the invention of atomic power, fossil energy was likely to be the only source of electricity. After nuclear energy was discovered, countries started to invest in nuclear power instead of the one that was used to be. According to “Nuclear Power Worldwide: Status and Outlook” (2007), nuclear power supplied 15% of the worldwide electricity in 2006. In 2008, the percentage even rose to 17% as cited by Graham (2008). A possible reason is that atomic energy has a higher efficiency than fossil fuel. Shah (2011) revealed that nuclear plants in the USA can covert 87% of all the heat generated into electricity while coal plants and oil power plants can only have an average of 85%. Hence, the high generating efficiency of nuclear plants has changed the world’s tendency on source of electricity.
Nuclear power reactors generate electricity at a lower cost, attracting countries to start using atomic energy. According to McDonald (2008), there are currently 30 countries using nuclear power as one of their electricity source, some of them such as France and Belgium even use atomic energy as their main way to produce electricity. Another possible reason other than efficiency is that atomic power is inexpensive as shown in a research done by OECD (cited in “The Economics of Nuclear Power”, 2013). The study found out in most of the nuclear energy using countries, for example China, USA, France and Russia, the producing cost of atomic energy is lower than the other methods such as wind power and burning coal. As a result, due to economic inducements, nuclear power has become a way to obtain electricity in some countries and caused a lasting impact on their electricity generating plans.
Reasons of Success
Nuclear power is one of the most efficient ways to generate electricity without emitting greenhouse gases. Comparing different organizations’ studies (cited in The World Nuclear Association Report, 2011), most of them showed that atomic energy will only release...