Before the Japan earthquake and tsunami on March 2011, most people had embraced nuclear power as the best and most efficient source or power. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster impelled a rethink of nuclear energy policies in many countries. Switzerland quickly put on hold the approval process for three new plants while Germany’s Chancellor announced that the country would initiate a measured exit from nuclear power. Even China, which has always been on the frontline in global nuclear energy charge showed uneasiness by freezing all new approvals for new nuclear power plants and taking cautionary measures in existing nuclear plants. Despite these accidents, nuclear power plants are considered one of the most efficient sources of energy. In fact, the safety record of nuclear energy is better as compared to other energy technologies.
The study of the future of nuclear power is very essential for this technology has been proven to be an important option for many nations to meet their future energy demands without causing considerable environmental damage. Nuclear energy will still be used in many nations as it is forms a cheap, reliable and emission-free energy. Nuclear power plants operate very efficiently and dependably as they convert Uranium to storable energy. Another reason that makes nuclear energy a very important source of energy in the future is the abundance of Uranium on earth (Lillington, 2004). Nevertheless, nuclear energy has its disadvantages and these include relatively high construction costs, nuclear radioactive waste that have a lifespan of more than 5000 years hence more nuclear power plants will mean more radioactive wastes, environmental and health effects, potential security risks, and the unsolved challenges in long-term management of nuclear wastes. It is also feared that with increased number of nuclear power plants, there would also be the greater possibility of terrorist attacks so nuclear power plants would need not only to ensure the maximum safety against nuclear reactor explosion but also against possible terrorist attacks.
Nuclear power is here to stay. However, certain drastic changes will have to be made to improve safety procedures to prevent accidents similar to the Bhopal, Chernobyl, and the Fukushima Daiichi accidents. Besides, changing tacts on global wars will mean that nuclear power plants will have to improve security to reduce the chances of being targets in wars (Lillington, 2004).
Lillington, J. N. (2004). The Future of Nuclear Energy. Amsterdam: Elsevier