In the future, alternate energy sources will be our only resort when fossil fuel and petroleum are scarce. However, with global warming impacting the world at an alarming rate, nuclear energy is possibly the best option to meet the huge energy demand worldwide. 8 advantages of connecting nuclear power units to electrical grids
Keeping this in mind, the Assignmet Help Dubai United Arab Emirates experts took a path-breaking step into taking their city a step forward into the future. The Barakah nuclear power plant is one of the largest nuclear power plants in the country, and they just connected its second unit to its national power grid.
Power grids are electrical system that connects different part of the country. It helps the cities and the whole country to –
- Generate power
- Power transmission
- Power distribution
On that note, here are eight advantages of connecting a nuclear power unit to an electrical grid.
Table of Contents
Nuclear power emits significantly low greenhouse emissions. Greenhouse gases are said to be a major cause of global warming. If a major city can convert to more nuclear power, it can potentially reduce the significant rate of greenhouse gas emissions, thus helping the planet.
Connecting a nuclear power plant to a national electrical grid can reduce almost a mammoth 470 million metric tons of carbon each year. To put things into perspective, this is the estimated pollution caused by a hundred million cars yearly. We can also use thermal or nuclear energy to decarbonise other sectors like transportation which is arguably the largest contributor to the rising carbon footprint.
Since nuclear energy doesn’t discharge any harmful gases like methane, it doesn’t leave any harmful traces on nature. According to the World Nuclear Association, it also releases fewer emissions than other renewable energy sources like solar, water or wind.
High Power Output
The fuel-to-power output ratio is astronomically high for nuclear energy. If a whole country or a city needs to run on power, it certainly makes sense to meet that humongous demand with something like nuclear energy. Nuclear energy has the capability to power up any small country with just one reactor.
Since nuclear reactors use uranium as their main alloy, it can withstand extreme heat, and thus a single reactor can power a 1000 megawatts plant. A plant this big can generate enough fuel to sustain about half a million people or an entire city.
To put into perspective, solar panels or turbines cannot power up anything beyond a small office or a large home. No other renewable energy sources have the capability, like a nuclear power plant, to meet the large-scale demand of a major city.
Stable Base Load Energy
Another major advantage of using nuclear power in a city grid is that it provides a stable base for high electricity loads. This is why most developed countries already have multiple nuclear power plants for various states. If a city grid can produce enough power with a stable base, it can be used as a replacement for other renewable forms of energy.
Lower Operating Costs
Compared to other forms of energy like coal, gas or fossil fuels, nuclear energy is significantly cheaper. Uranium, one of the core elements of nuclear plants, is one of the cheapest alloys available. Not only that, you need only a small amount of uranium to power up an entire plant. One can argue that the initial investment in setting up a nuclear power plant is high; however, the operational cost of a nuclear power plant is quite low.
According to studies, even if we consider the other costs like managing radioactive wastes and their disposal costs, the total cost of nuclear power production is still less than that of a coal plant. The normal lifespan of a standard nuclear reactor is around 50 years. So, apart from the initial cost, the other expenditures remain a lot less, even after considering inflation and the rise in the price of raw materials like uranium.
Uranium is not a rare metal. Estimating the total uranium reserve of the world, we have enough metal for the next century. Since any major city can function properly with an uninterrupted energy supply, nuclear power seems to be the most reliable form of energy. Nuclear plants can run uninterrupted for several years without any notable maintenance.
Not to mention, the other forms of renewable energy like wind and solar are dependent on weather. With no control over the weather, these plants are always at the risk of potential disruption. However, nuclear factories are much more consistent and can run without depending on climatic conditions.
More Effective than Fossil Fuels
Using nuclear energy is much easier than any other energy source. Scientists have made a lot of innovations that have made nuclear energy a much more feasible choice than others. This is because nuclear energy has a higher energy density compared to other sources of energy.
Fuel consumption in a nuclear power plant is a lot lower as nuclear energy releases approximately ten million times more energy than a fossil fuel atom. This is because nuclear fission is absent in any other sources of energy. Thus any major city can run more effectively when nuclear energy gets connected to its power grid.
Like fossil fuels, uranium is also not unlimited in nature. It is not a renewable resource as we cannot produce it in a lab repeatedly. Then what makes it renewable? For starters, we have depleted fossil fuel reserves since the industrial revolution. Hence, we certainly have higher reserves of uranium than fossil fuels.
However, our scientists are currently working on fusion reactors and breeders to replicate fissionable elements. One element that scientists have already discovered is plutonium. This is the by-product of the same chain reaction that happens on the sun. If we master this technique, we can essentially harness the power of the sun and get unlimited energy to run cities in the future.
A nuclear plant can create approximately 1000+ job opportunities. It is a good avenue for many white and blue-collared employees to earn a living and support their families. This number is much more than any coal or gas plant. Since a cornerstone of a developed country is a higher average per capita income, connecting nuclear plants with the electrical grids of a country is the right step.
There are certainly lots of concerns about setting up nuclear plants in a country, let alone connecting them to a city or a national-level grid. Radioactive wastes, if not properly disposed of, can have long-lasting impacts on the environment. Nuclear accidents can destroy an entire city, like the Chernobyl incident.
However, no modern society can progress by worrying about such mishaps. Hence, every major city must take a lesson from UAE and try to connect nuclear plants with electrical grids.