Is Nuclear Energy Really Renewable?
Summary about Is Nuclear Energy Renewable by Yvonne Mustafelli and Roger Vanderlely
Is Nuclear Energy Renewable. There are uranium sources all over the United States and the world. It is estimated, by some, that these uranium mines could last for up to 700 years. Other experts believe the sources will last up to 5 billion years.
The Official Definition of Renewable Says – No
Renewable energy sources are those that will always be there. These sources do not require fossil fuels or mining to continue energy production. Now, taking into account that the 5 billion years mark is true, there is still a finite amount of uranium in the Earth’s soil and thus the energy is not renewable.
Stretching the definition a bit is what many experts choose to do. Five billion years is so far into the future that nuclear energy might as well be considered renewable. But, what about the experts that place uranium mine lifespans at the 700 year mark? Seven hundred years is a second in terms of Earth lifespan and if that is all the uranium left, there is no way nuclear energy can be considered renewable even if the term’s definition is stretched.
Nuclear Energy – A Non-Renewable Resource
Nuclear Energy has been touted as an alternative to mainstream electricity production from fossil fuel sources.
So how does Nuclear energy stand up as an alternative to fossil fuels in terms of a sustainable source of electricity production? There are several concerns about Nuclear energy that have given it a bad name. Reactor problems such as those that caused the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl incidents, along with several others, are far fewer in number relative to the scale of electricity production than compared to casualties in the mining sector associated with oil and coal.
Storage of Nuclear waste is also largely an issue of the past with technology now available to store Nuclear waste in solid form, reducing virtually to zero the possibility of leakage, ground water contamination and so forth.
The reality for us though is that nuclear power relies upon supplies of Uranium and Plutonium that are themselves limited. While these resources may have only begun to be exploited, it is certain that if our current level of increase of energy consumption continues then Nuclear fuel will also face the prospect of its own peak production level.
It cannot be a responsible decision to replace fossil fuels with another energy source that is also doomed to run out in the foreseeable future. While those proponents of Nuclear power proclaim it as the salvation of our current situation they are not looking far enough into the future.
To make correct, responsible decisions that take into account not only our own welfare but also that of our children and their children, we need to adopt wide scale renewable energy in the form of Solar and Wind power.