Power from nuclear energy can prevent many of the environmental consequences arising out of the use of fossil fuels. Below we discuss about the disadvantages of power generated from burning of fossil fuels.
A. Disadvantages of power generated by burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, petroleum and gas:
(i) The main drawback of fossil fuels is pollution. Burning any fossil fuel produces carbon dioxide, which contributes to the "greenhouse effect", warming the Earth. The effect of rise in temperature is disastrous to environment. Agriculture is very sensitive to climate and hence is heavily affected, requiring shifts in crops that cannot be grown in different areas. Livestock also been affected through problems in breeding, diseases. Eventually, the melting glaciers will cause sea levels to rise – causes loss of habitat land, allows inland penetration of salt water which heavily impacts aquatic life. Burning fossil fuel also produces sulfur dioxide, a gas that contributes to acid rain. Acid rain is destroying forests, making lakes unlivable for fish and degrade ecosystem.
(ii) Mining coal can be difficult and dangerous. Coal mining destroys large areas of the landscape.
(iii) Waste disposal for coal-fired power plant is a major issue. Coal-fired power plant produces large quantity of ashes, which is difficult to handle and store. It destroys and pollutes large areas of land. Dust is also generated, causing health problems to human being.
B. Below we discuss advantages of nuclear power vis-a-vis other energy options, especially fossil fuel.
(i) One of the greatest advantages of nuclear power is that it avoids the wide variety of environmental problems arising from burning fossil fuels - coal, oil, and gas. Nuclear energy does not produce smoke or carbon dioxide, so it does not contribute to the greenhouse effect. Thus ‘global warming’ process can be minimized - changing the earth's climate, acid rain, which is destroying forests and killing fish; air...