What Are the Advantages of Using Nuclear Energy?

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According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the chief advantages of nuclear energy are its energy density and its lack of emissions. A single kilogram of uranium can produce almost 900,000 times as much energy as the same volume of oil, all without producing any air pollution or greenhouse gas emissions. Nuclear power stations also require considerably less space than most forms of renewable energy.

Another major advantage nuclear has over most renewable technologies is that like fossil fuel power generation, nuclear power is controllable. Wind and solar energy plants are dependent on the wind and the sun, and when those forces are not present, energy production drops off. A nuclear plant can raise and lower its output throughout the day to adjust to electricity demands. While accidents at nuclear plants can be extremely dangerous, new thorium reactor designs offer considerable safety advantages over old pressurized reactors, automatically shutting down in the case of emergency or power loss. Nuclear plants do produce waste as part of the energy generation process, and this waste can be toxic. However, modern reactor designs produce considerably less waste than older models, and some reactors can even process decades-old nuclear waste and reuse much of it as fuel.