So, sustainable energy is a term that can be used on a wider scale, while still including all forms of renewable energy. To understand why, it is important to understand what the process of creating nuclear energy entails and what renewable energy is versus a sustainable energy. Nuclear energy has no constraints and does not depend on the weather. Nuclear energy is the energy that is in the core (nucleus) of an atom. With these construction requirements, the time to build one of these facilities rises. Electricity generated by nuclear power plants, wind turbines and solar panels results in negligible greenhouse gas emissions, even when their manufacture, construction and maintenance is taken into account. Sometimes, some accidents affect these power plants and the securely stored nuclear waste, leading to dangerous result and long-term effects of radiation. Break solar power down into the three necessary points of sustainable energy. According to a scientist in the field of earth and environmental sciences, “it is impossible for humans to extract enough uranium to lower the overall seawater concentrations faster that it is replenished.” Even though the uranium present in seawater is in smaller units than found on earth, it is estimated that there is about 4.5 billion tons of uranium present in seawater at any given time. Copyright 2018 by Green and Growing. As a result, it requires less fuel to power a nuclear energy power plant, therefore creating less waste and having a lesser impact on the environment and economy. Mining can be extremely harmful to the earth and the ecosystems, thus the reason that nuclear energy is sustainable. These processes produce renewable energy, although the materials are not easily available. This can be a bit confusing, but hopefully we clear it up for you. Nuclear Energy Nuclear energy is usually considered another non-renewable energy source. Countries which are heavily invested in nuclear energy remain higher CO 2 emitters, on average, than countries which have invested at the same level in renewable energy. Science is finding ways to reduce waste through recycling and reprocessing. If the source of the uranium is changed, or if the science allows for nuclear fusion, we will be able to have a sustainable source of the raw material, thereby making the source of energy more sustainable. This is to ensure that the process is successful and no harmful effects are placed on the environment, adjacent lands and surrounding communities, not forgetting the workers in these plants. There are a few well known incidents that involved a nuclear power plant having major issues. ... is ideal for use, since precisely what is intended is to change its atomic structure. As mentioned above, nuclear energy helps in cleaning the air by removing tons of harmful air pollutants that lead to acid rain, smog, cardiovascular and lung diseases. Nuclear energy is therefore not only a non-renewable form of energy, since uranium stocks will be depleted in the foreseeable future, leaving us locked with a technology that can no longer be used, but the extraction of raw materials required to kick-start the process results in a number of environmental concerns.More specifically, one reactor needs in one year 25 tons of uranium fuel. With only 1 kg of natural uranium we can generate energy that is enough to power a 100 Watt light bulb for 25,700 years. This reaction happens quickly enough that whatever is pulled from the water, is leached from the rocks to replace it. Lastly, the energy that is being consumed does not exceed the energy the sun supplies. The answer to this both yes and no! Renewable energy is a type of energy that can continuously keep regenerating itself. Overwhelmingly, nuclear energy is sustainable. Nuclear energy is cleaner and cost-effective, holds more potential, is more abundant and is essential towards minimizing carbon dioxide emissions. In fact, the Library of Congress has classified that nuclear fuel sources (aka U-235) are “not essentially renewable.” The only circumstance under which nuclear energy can be classified as technically renewable is if it is being produced from uranium extracted from seawater, a process still quite a ways into the future. Since the waste of nuclear fission creates radioactive waste, the construction must include containment system and safety procedures. 1. (And 7 Ways to Reuse Them). (And Is It Bad For Environment), Are Solar Panels Recyclable? 3. Nuclear Energy As Renewable Energy While nuclear energy is classified as clean energy, there’s some debate on whether it should be included among sources of renewable energy. In terms of non-GHG impacts, nuclear power and the renewable energy sources do not generate the particulates that are associated with coal burning, nor do they generate some of the other emissions associated with fossil fuels, such as methane, sulphur or nitrous oxides, organic compounds or toxic heavy metals. Nuclear energy is renewable by numerous standards, but the nuclear fuel required to produce nuclear energy is not. That's 32% of the 2.5 trillion kWh of nuclear power produced worldwide. Presently, the vast majority of electricity from nuclear power is produced by nuclear fission of uranium and plutonium. Mining the ore can also take time to find and can take time for the earth to regenerate what is being pulled from it. If we can turn nuclear fusion into a reality, the source of energy would be sustainable and able to sustain us for the foreseeable future. Nuclear energy is a very clean energy, but poses high costs and dangerous waste. is nuclear energy renewable or nonrenewable, ... carbon dioxide into a renewable resource using nuclear plants. Nuclear power, when combined with other renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, provides the potential to effectively combat and reverse climate change. No, but it is considered sustainable. Not yet at least. Is nuclear energy renewable? Texas energy providers have a strong history of working with renewable power sources, including geothermal , hydropower , wind , solar and biomass . When the water boils it creates steam. With the increases in technology and science, it is possible to make nuclear energy renewable with the use of uranium pulled from seawater instead. This makes the question of nuclear energy's renewability an ongoing debate as technology and time advance. Thankfully, there is plenty of time for science to find ways of making nuclear energy even cleaner. Is nuclear energy renewable, and can investing in it help us achieve global climate goals? Nuclear energy is, therefore, a lesser evil in comparison to fossil fuel. In 2017, it generated 805 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. Is nuclear energy renewable? As such, they seal it securely in containers and keep it underground. Overall, electricity generation from nuclear plants has declined slightly in response to lower demand, with their output reduced during periods of high production from renewable power sources. These studies are finding ways to pull the uranium from the seawater in a way that is clean and possibly renewable in itself. The U.S. has been remarkably safe when it comes to nuclear energy. There are also safety risks. Nuclear energy is good for the environment, although there are some exceptions. The energy source must guarantee to meet present and future consumption needs, must be replenishable without the help of humans, and the energy consumed does not exceed the energy being produced. Although it does not emit greenhouse gases, nuclear fuel is not unlimited and it does not regenerate. With regards to uranium, we have reserves that can last another 80 years. | Powered by WordPress. Renewable energy is not ready to replace fossil fuels, and nuclear energy could fill the (alleged) gap … Nuclear power is presently a sustainable energy source, but could become completely renewable if the source of uranium changed from mined ore to seawater. Nuclear energy is non-renewable because the energy nuclear power produces cannot constantly be replenished. RE: Is nuclear energy now obsolete due to cheaper renewable energy? These subatomic particles include the proton, neutron, and electron. It is estimated that 60 years of waste from all US-based nuclear power plants, would fit inside a two-story building covering one city block. The sources must do three things to be considered a sustainable energy. For this article we are going to focus on the nucleus. Nuclear energy protects air quality. © 2021 . It is, therefore, the greatest challenge of these plants, to store such radioactive waste, as it cannot be destroyed. Atoms are very small piece of matter which can be broken down to even smaller subatomic particles. Nuclear power is a topic that evokes strong emotions. The process sees uranium atoms split, producing energy, which then spins turbines generating electricity without the harmful by-products emitted by fossil fuels. A few well known incidents that involved a nuclear power plants have other effects on nucleus. We have reserves that can continuously keep regenerating itself including geothermal, hydropower, wind, energy. 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