FutureTech Human Interest

Renewable Energy Can’t Save Us – Is Nuclear Back on the Table?

Renewable Energy Cant Save Us Is Nuclear Back on the Table
Written by Izak Van Heerden
The hope for our energy future is solar power and wind power, but will it have enough impact to affect climate change?
Most experts believe that if we want to have a true and lasting impact on climate change, we will need to look at  nuclear power again.


Here are a couple of things to consider.

Destroying the Planet Without Realizing It

One of the issues that come from renewable energy sources like solar and wind is that it’s not as environmentally friendly as what they make it out to be.

For example, wind power has a notorious reputation for killing birds. In fact, it’s estimated that 214,000 to 368,000 birds have been killed by wind turbines on an annual basis.

Solar power doesn’t come without its share of flaws either.

16,200 to 59,400 birds are literally set on fire. Rare species killed are American Kestrel, the Golden Eagle and the Red-Tailed Hawk.

Renewable Energy Cant Save Us Golden Eagle

   

One of the problems that come from solar polar is the fact that you have to use so much space to make it effective. In one case, people were removing turtles in the desert as a way of making room for solar power. They took these turtles to a place where they were cared for, but unfortunately, many of them eventually died.

When solar panels get used in the desert, they often strip the local landscape of its cacti and other wildlife.

Returning to Nuclear Power

France uses an estimated 75 percent in nuclear power because of its belief in energy security. In addition because of its low cost of generation, France has turned into one of the biggest exporters of electricity.

In total, France has 58 nuclear generators that produce 63.1 GWe. Not to mention, they have the lowest cost of energy in Europe. An estimated 90 percent of the energy in France comes from either a nuclear or a hydro source.

Opportunity That Transforms the World

We have an opportunity that could transform the world. One of the things that many people don’t realize from renewable energy resources is that they still have repercussions. While nuclear energy doesn’t come without its own share of problems, some believe that it will provide a cleaner source of energy while giving off more electricity.

In fact, nuclear power comes virtually free of all emissions. Take coal or gas in sharp contrast, and you pump carbon dioxide and mercury emissions into the air. Because of this, our oceans have begun to warm, and as a result, natural disaster events have become more common.

Opposition to Nuclear Energy

In the past, people opposed nuclear energy because of fears of radiation related to reactor accidents. Either that or nuclear waste leaking from a disposal site. Today, however, we have come up with a new solution. Several countries have begun to build disposal sites that travel deep beneath the earth. This allows them to safely dispose of radioactive waste.

Some have even argued that nuclear waste isn’t as big of a deal as we make it out to be – due to the small amount of waste that can safely be disposed of. Compare it to fossil fuels, on the other hand, and you have a choice of energy that continues to pollute our environment, and it could cause serious issues in the future with global warming.

What About the Nuclear Disasters?

Some people argue that we cannot responsibly use nuclear energy because of Fukishima, Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. At Fukishima, for example, the death toll was 1,600, but it was primarily among the elderly because of poor evacuation methods.

Renewable Energy Cant Save Us Chernobyl

Like in any world filled with dangerous things like airplanes, manufacturing or motor cars, accidents happen, and the safety culture that arises in learning from these accidents is part of what we need to do when it comes to responding to nuclear disasters.

Growing Response

Good news is that two of the most populous countries on earth—China and India—have begun to expand their nuclear energy resources, along with their commitment to renewable energy resources. While renewable energy resources are the flavor of the month, it’s important that we understand they may not be able to do everything because of how it depends on wind energy and solar energy.

Solar and wind power have provided us with a great energy source, and the cost has continued to drop over time, but the truth is that it’s still out of reach for a lot of consumers, considering that you will pay anywhere from $11,214 to $14,406 after tax credits. Most people can’t afford that much cash upfront even if it is a good investment.

Nuclear Energy Can Be Used Positively

One of the things that we often forget is how nuclear energy can be harnessed in a fashion that will be largely positive. For example, nuclear medicine has become an accepted practice for targeting certain types cancer cells.

It’s true that you can do a lot of good with nuclear energy as long as you harness it in the right way. It can be turned into either a destructive force or a force for good depending on how we use it.

Advancing Technology

A powerful promise comes from the fact that the nuclear reactors from 60 years ago aren’t as good technologically as what we can do today. The conventional nuclear reactors have been dramatically improved since. Dozens of startup companies have begun to pop up with the intention of solving the problem that comes with nuclear energy. These companies want to improve it and make it better than ever before.

Some of the most well-known problems that you face with nuclear power include:

  • Weapons proliferation
  • High costs
  • Radioactive waste
  • Nuclear meltdowns

The companies of today have sought to address some of these problems. Some of the potential innovations include

  • destroying isotopes that could be made into nuclear weapons,
  • designing nuclear reactors that will burn the nuclear waste entirely (which would make it almost entirely beneficial)
  • addressing the high cost, they could make smaller nuclear reactors in a factory for a lower cost.

Why Going Nuclear Makes Sense

Going with nuclear energy makes the most sense in the end because of how it will help us to fill in the gaps with renewable energy. The world continues to demand an ever-increasing amount of electricity, and we can power this through nuclear energy.

Our goal is to keep the earth beautiful, and according to Lil Dicky we only have till 2031 till we hit the point of no return. What we’re doing now is clearly not working.


Researchers have been looking for alternative sources of energy that could prove of value, and they have been working on advanced nuclear reactors since the Cold War.

In the past, there weren’t as many reasons to find better ways of doing nuclear reactors because it wasn’t profitable. However, that has changed. One of the biggest advantages that people get from nuclear energy is the fact that it costs much less than other power sources.

Renewable energy can move us in the right direction, but nuclear energy will likely become the best choice for making power more affordable, and at the end of the day, it’s more efficient.

About the author

Izak Van Heerden

Izak has witnessed a couple of decades worth of changing tech. He hopes to make it a couple more until his conscience can be copied to a cyborg body.

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