A nuclear power plant uses nuclear energy for generating electrical power. This article presents 10 advantages and disadvantages of the nuclear power plant.
Advantages of Nuclear Power Plant
- Economic base load production: Nuclear power plant is an economic source to be used as a baseload power plant. The running cost is smaller than diesel power plant and comparable with other power plants.
- Extending availability of fossil fuels: Fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas are continuously depleting. The use of nuclear power plant (NPP) ensures an extending availability of fossil fuels.
- No greenhouse emissions: Compare to other sources there is very small greenhouse emission. Unlike coal, there is no emission of CO2.
- Small amount of fuel: Very small amount of nuclear fuel is required for generating a large amount of power. 1 kg of Uranium can generate power as much as 4000 tons of good quality coal.
- Fuel transportation saving: Smaller quantity of fuel saves from transportation problems.
- Compact in size: NPP is compact in size.
- Low running charges: The running charges of NPP are smaller than diesel and off-shore wind resources.
- Large deposits are available: Large deposits of nuclear power are available that can be utilized for power generation.
- Reliable source: Sources such as wind, solar are not predictable. The nuclear fuel, on the other hand, is a reliable source for generating power.
- Can continuously run: A nuclear power can continuously run 95% of the time throughout the year.
Disadvantages of Nuclear Power Plants
- Capital cost: The capital cost of the nuclear power plant is very high as compared to all other resources.
- Long approval and commissioning time: A NPP requires very long timescale for approval and commissioning of the plant due to many technical difficulties and safety issues.
- Accidents: Nuclear accidents associated with nuclear power plants makes it a less acceptable power generation source.
- Fuel is non-renewable: Use of nuclear fuel ensures extended availability of other nonrenewables, but unlike water, solar, and wind, the nuclear fuel itself is a non-renewable source.
- Radioactive waste: The nuclear waste is a major trade-off that is associated with nuclear power generation. The assorted waste from an NPP should be stored for 10,000 – 2,00,000 years for safety.
- Long time scale constructional: NPP requires a long timescale for construction. The crew should be experienced and technical.
- Nuclear weapons: The use of nuclear for power generation also encourages its use as nuclear power.
- Net yield: The net energy yield of the nuclear plant is lower.
- Vulnerable to terrorists: A nuclear power plant is vulnerable to terrorist activities, which requires very strong and tight security measures.
- Expensive than hydro: The running charges of nuclear fuel is higher than hydro plant furthermore it is nonrenewable as compared to hydroelectricity.