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Is nuclear energy renewable?

Nuclear energy has always been questioned, because although its production does not emit polluting gases, such as CO2 or methane, it does generate radioactive waste and an accident at a nuclear power plant is a great catastrophe. Another reason for the debate is that there are experts who consider that it falls within the renewable energies, because there are large reserves of uranium, but is nuclear energy really renewable?

If you want to know if nuclear energy is renewable or not and what are its advantages and disadvantages, continue reading this AgroCorrn article in which we will explain it in detail.

You may also be interested in: What is nuclear energy and how does it work?
  1. Is nuclear energy renewable? – the answer
  2. Is nuclear energy clean?
  3. Nuclear energy: advantages and disadvantages

Is nuclear energy renewable? – the answer

Renewable energies are those that use inexhaustible energy or fuel resources that have a regeneration time equal to or less than their consumption. These energies are solar energy , wind energy , hydropower , tidal, etc. However, nuclear energy cannot be considered a renewable energy.

But why is this so? The answer is that nuclear energy is NOT a renewable energy because, mainly, it is obtained thanks to the fission of uranium isotopes, exactly from U-235 as it is the only one that can cause the nuclear fission reaction. Uranium is a chemical element that is found in nature, it is true that there are large uranium reserves such as that found in sea water, but that it is not being exploited as it is not economically profitable. So, taking into account the reserves that can currently be exploited and the rate at which uranium is consumed , being greater than its natural generation, we would be facing a non-renewable energy.

There are studies from the Nuclear Energy Agency [1] that estimate that with the current consumption level, taking into account only the uranium reserves that are economically profitable, there would be uranium for about 200 years.

Is nuclear energy clean?

Actually, it could be said that nuclear energy is clean , at the moment in which it is being generated, since the only thing that its reactors emit into the atmosphere is water vapor .

However, nuclear energy does generate radioactive waste that later must be managed in the so-called nuclear cemeteries so that, thus, they do not pose a danger to the environment and living beings. Therefore, it cannot be said that it is 100% clean energy .

Learn more about What is a nuclear graveyard with this other AgroCorrn post.

Nuclear energy: advantages and disadvantages

Finally, here we mention the main advantages and disadvantages of nuclear energy :

Advantages of nuclear energy

Nuclear energy has many advantages, which a priori make this energy an economical option and that would avoid the emission of polluting gases.

  • As we have already mentioned, it is a clean energy, with respect to its emissions into the atmosphere.
  • The cost of energy production is always a factor to take into account, nuclear power generation is very cheap.
  • With just one nuclear power plant, large amounts of energy can be produced. It also has a practically constant production, since the plant only interrupts its operation for its maintenance. You could say that this type of energy is always working at full capacity.

Disadvantages of nuclear energy

Despite having advantages that could define this type of energy as a solution to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, attention must be paid to the disadvantages since these outweigh the advantages, to the point of giving up energy nuclear. The disadvantages would be:

  • The waste generated by nuclear power plants is too dangerous: they are very polluting and take thousands of years to decompose, they can even be deadly.
  • It is a non-renewable energy source.
  • We have mentioned among the advantages that this energy is clean, since the plants do not emit greenhouse gases. However, an accident at a nuclear power plant can cause serious problems that last over time. As an example we have the Chernobyl or Chernobyl accident [2] : it happened in 1986, in it very radioactive materials were released, which as a consequence led to the evacuation of 350,000 people, the increase in cancer in the population and the loss of land, animals and plants. After 34 years that area is still radioactive and impossible to inhabit, and the inhabitants of the areas closest to the tragedy continue to see their health affected. Another more recent disaster, in 2011, occurred at the Fukushima plant in Japan [3]. After the accident, the country closed all nuclear power plants, despite the fact that they generated 30% of all the electricity consumed by its population.

There are not many disadvantages, although they are very serious, since an accident at a nuclear power plant ends up destroying the entire environment of the nuclear power plant, in addition to threatening the health of the people who live in that territory for long periods of time.

Below you can see a video from our YouTube channel on the Advantages and Disadvantages of nuclear energy and in this link you will find another article of ours specific to this topic.

If you want to read more articles similar to Is nuclear energy renewable? , we recommend that you enter our category of non-renewable energies .

Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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