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Environmental edge of nuclear technology over conventional power generation methods

SCIENTISTS ARE in quest of discovering new methods of power generation that should be cost & time effective, ecologically efficient, sustainable, reliable and possessing extended life cycle. Nuclear energy technology is the imperative source of carbon free electricity generation that puts it into the slab of an eco-friendly and sustainable mode of power generation than all other available power generation preferences.


The benefit of nuclear technology that lures environmentalists & policy makers to deem nuclear technology as the foremost preference what other available methods fail to offer is the “zero” emission of carbon di oxide in relation to KWh produced. On the other hand, the toxic gases including carbon di oxide are emitted in bulk by the conventional fossil fuel power generation method consequently proving nuisance for the atmosphere and its guarding shield i.e. ozone layer. The nuclear technology has also garnered an illustrious prestige to become the largest contributor (90.1%) in CO2 emissions reductions since 1973 thus placing it at the apex. Nuclear technology vitality is that it does not burn anything to produce power thus inserting it in contrast to fossil fuel power generation therefore no gases such as sulfur di oxide and nitrogen oxide are produced, so there is no challenge to the atmosphere for the formation of ground level ozone, smog and acid rain. Green house gases emission is also minimal in nuclear energy thus pilfering the probability of triggering global warming phenomenon and sealing the fact of branding the nuclear technology as eco-friendly. The absence of toxic pollutants in water discharged from nuclear power plants is just another testament in this regard. The nuclear power plants thus fulfill all the requisites and are qualifiers for the carbon credits due to afore mentioned attributes of non emission of carbon di oxide in atmosphere. Worldwide nuclear energy avoids on average the emissions of about 2.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. It is pertinent to mention here that the cost of reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with various options, e.g. different energy sources, different levels of end-user efficiency etc.


These costs are termed as the CO2 abatement costs. These are the costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by a given amount (e.g. 1 tonne) in comparison to a given reference option, usually coal. CO2 reductions can be made at negative costs by employing combined cycle gas turbine cogeneration, wind, cogeneration with gasified wood and simple energy efficiency. Nuclear power has positive abatement costs, in about the same order of magnitude as new hydropower, gas cogeneration, advanced energy efficiency, and bio gas cogeneration.


In contrast, the fossil fuel power plants are rated no 1 as greenhouse gas emitter in the world. Fossil fuels contribute 3/4 of total carbon & the other greenhouse gases emission. Combustion of petroleum at searing temperatures is the method that is adopted in these power plants to generate electricity that subsequently cause adverse impacts on environment by discharging injurious pollutants in air and water that are responsible to cause serious diseases and are major threats pertaining to health of flora and fauna.


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