Is Nuclear Energy Renewable
Nuclear energy is often considered as a clean source of energy. However, over the years, the question, “Is Nuclear Energy Renewable or non renewable source of energy?” has been a matter of debate. To get a clear hold of this concept, we first need to definition of nuclear energy as well as renewable energy.
When we talk about renewable energy, we mean a source of energy or a type of fuel that can be regenerated or replenished in itself in an indefinite way. Five of the most commonly utilized sources of renewable energy are wind, biomass, hydro, solar and geothermal.
On the other hand, speaking of Is Nuclear Energy Renewable, we mean, the energy that has been generated as a result of the heat emitted from the fission process of the atoms. All the power plants transform heat into electricity by the use of steam. Fission is the process when the atoms split apart and the heat is generated which is used to make steam in the nuclear power plants. The process of fission results in the release of energy in the form of neutrons and heat. In this process, the neutrons that are released is found to go and hit the other neutrons and this process is repeated again, resulting in the generation of more and more heat. The most commonly used fuel for nuclear fission is uranium.
Arguments In Favor Of Nuclear Energy Being Renewable
There are many arguments which say that nuclear energy is renewable. Many supporters are of the view that nuclear energy low amount of carbon and this characteristic is enough to claim that nuclear energy is a renewable source of energy.
According to another theory by MR Bernard L Cohen who was a professor at the Pittsburg University, if the deposit of uranium has been proved to be indefinite and as long lasting as the relationship between the Sun and the Earth, then in that case nuclear energy has got every right to be called a renewable source of energy. In the arguments put forward by Professor Cohen, he has stated that the actual deposit of uranium that is available can be extracted at a high cost. Uranium can be extracted from the eroding surface of the earth’s crust which is caused by the water of the rivers. It can as lobe extracted from the sea water. So, we have got ample sources of uranium that can rightly be utilized for the purpose of fuelling the earth for about 5 billion more years. Thus, nuclear energy is a renewable source of energy.
Arguments Not In Favor Of Nuclear Energy Being Renewable
The biggest argument that goes against nuclear energy being renewable is the fact that the total deposit of uranium on the earth is limited just like that of wind and solar. So, if nuclear energy is to be counted amongst the renewable sources of energy then it is supposed to be sustainable for an unlimited amount of time, which is not the case according to this argument.
Further, many researchers are of the view that the inclusion of nuclear energy in the list of the renewable sources of energy is actually the lethal nuclear waste that is emitted from the nuclear power reactors. According to many theories, the nuclear waste is deemed to be a radioactive pollutant and so it cannot be called a renewable source of energy in any way. This point has been proved quite a number of times by using the example of the Yucca Mountains.
According to the opponents present in the U.S., it is said that while most of the other renewable sources of energy could provide energy to the United States independently, the use of uranium would always keep the country dependent for energy as the U.S. in any case will have to import uranium.
So we see that the basic point of confusion in nuclear energy being a source of renewable or nonrenewable energy is the definition of the two sources. So, this is the only reason why several theories are being put forward for and against this theory. While, there has been no proven point yet, nuclear energy being renewable or non renewable still remains a matter of confusion.