Nuclear Power: The Future of Renewable Energy?

Modern news outlets and public opinion alike seems persistently concerned with the likes of climate change and the ever-decreasing, finite supply of fossil fuels. The drive for clean, renewable energy has never been as fervent and pertinent as it is now. The global market is increasingly inundated with innovative and creative inventions utilising the likes of solar power to attempt to harness a clean form sustainable energy.

In the UK, the Daily Mail reports, plans are underway to build the world’s largest wind farm off the coast of Scotland. While these plans spell good news for the marine structure construction industry, these controversial eye-sores are always fervently debated and frequently opposed by locals. There also exists doubts over the efficiency of wind farms and the conditions they require to begin to produce electricity at all.

Many would argue that we have had the solution, in the form on nuclear energy, this entire time. Disasters such as in Chernobyl in 1986 have created a foreboding sense of fear among the general public towards nuclear energy. The enthusiasm in the public and scientific fields seems to have been curtailed somewhat by these perceptions, with the Independent reporting last month that plans for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Hinkley Point had come to a grinding halt.

Moreover, this negative stigma has caused many to perceive nuclear energy in the same negative light as the likes of fossil fuels, concocting spurious claims of its harm to the environment. Yet, this perception could not be further from the truth. Nuclear energy in fact has one of the lowest environmental impacts of any energy source – it does not emit air pollution and does not require a great deal of land to be made possible.

The only significant environmental risk with nuclear energy is with the disposal of the radioactive waste once the energy has been created. However, the technology and means to dispose of this waste effectively and effectually already exists.

As long as the nuclear reactor containment facilities continue to be maintained, perfected and even improved, there should be no reason why nuclear energy should not be considered, or even pioneered, as the future for sustainable energy with a low environmental impact.

Fortune Magazine predicted in an article this week that nuclear energy will indeed be the future of renewable energy. With prospective external investment in nuclear energy in the UK looking likely, let’s hope that this energy source provides the bright future it undoubtedly has the potential to do.