The aspect of radiation and disintegration of radioactive materials to produce energy is now a wide area of today’s science and technology advancement.
Many countries such as United States, France ,Russia uses radioactivity and radioisotopes as their main source of energy to generate electricity, medical supplements for cancer therapy , agriculture and so on.
But here in Nigeria we basically use the hydroelectric system and gas as our main source of energy and it has been serving us for long. Many would say it’s an old school system as regards to the new advancement in technology but there are specific reasons Nigeria is not using this aspect of science and technology
1. Nuclear energy produces radioactive waste
A major environmental concern related to nuclear power is the creation of radioactive wastes such as uranium mill tailings spent on reactor fuel and other radioactive wastes. These materials can remain radioactive and dangerous to human health for thousands of years.
Disposing radioactive waste has proven to be very difficult. Improper disposal of these waste can be very dangerous to the environment.
Currently in Nigeria we’re still facing the crisis of disposing petroleum wastes and adding this will only cause additional problems.
2 . Non-Renewable Resource
Uranium is currently the sole raw material for generating nuclear energy. As we said before, this is a scarce resource and is limited in supply. Most countries which use nuclear energy rely on other countries for the constant fuel supply. Since companies mine it like any other metal, uranium’s availability is limited. Once we extract it all, nuclear plants will be rendered useless. We cannot call Uranium a renewable source or a renewable energy due to its limited supply and hazardous effects.
3. High Costs
Even if we build a plant that uses nuclear energy, we'll stumble upon another disadvantage. The massive investment required to set up a functional nuclear power station.
Developing countries can rarely afford to use nuclear energy because it’s such a costly source of alternative energy. Meanwhile, nuclear power plants usually take 5 to 10 years to build because there is a mountain of legal formalities to be approved beforehand. On top of that, the people living nearby the potential site usually oppose the project.
4. Nuclear reactor leakage
Scientists creates nuclear reactors with several safety systems in mind that will contain the radiation emitted in the fission process. But these safety systems function adequately only when workers properly install and maintain them. When the plants come with structural flaws or people improperly install them, nuclear reactors could leak harmful amounts of radiation into the environment. For example, if a containment field were to break suddenly, the radiation leak could be catastrophic.
Exposure to human health will cause serious damage in body tissues and organs.
5. Failed or Uncontained Nuclear processes.
Processes like nuclear fission where large radionuclides are broken down to produce energy .
This process produce massive amounts of nuclear energy and if not contained well might lead to highly unstable chain reactions and might lead to destruction or explosion of nuclear reactors and surroundings.
Generally, nuclear power is an amazing aspect of technology and has its own benefits if it can be handled properly. Many countries today use this as their main source of energy and it’s been working for them.
But here in Nigeria handling this might be a bit too much but as time goes on we can and will definitely be able to use nuclear energy.
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