A nuclear power plant is a thermal power station in which the heat source is a nuclear reactor. As is typical in all conventional thermal power stations. The heat is used to generate steam turbine connected to an electric generator which produces electricity.
Electricity was generated by a nuclear reactor for the first time ever on September 3, 1948 at the x-10 graphite reactor in oak ridge, Tennessee in the United States and it was the first nuclear power station to power a light bulb. Nuclear energy is a rare form of energy. It is the energy stored in the centre or the nucleus of an atom. The nuclear energy is considered as the worthiest alternative source of energy after fossil fuels.
Nuclear power is the fourth largest source of electricity in India after thermal, hydroelectric and renewable sources of electricity. As of 2013, India has 21 nuclear reactors in operation in which 7 were nuclear power plants.
The number of nuclear power plant reactors to be setup in India for which the nuclear power corporation of India and US firm westing house have agreed to begin engineering and site design work immediately conclude contractual arrangements by June 2017. Once completed , the project would be among the largest of its kind , fulfilling the promise of its kind , fulfilling the promise of the US- India civil nuclear agreement and demonstrating a shared commitment to meet India's growing energy needs while reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
India has an electricity supply problem.
Standards of living are directly tied to the per capita consumption of electricity. India has been plagued with blackouts in recent years. Just two months ago, India had a blackout in 20 of 28 states leaving 710 million people without power. That's more than double the population of the entire U.S.
think about that for a second no electricity to hospitals. To refrigerators storing food. To factories producing goods. Air conditioning units cooling elderly and children in 89% humidity. A lot of facilities don't have backup power for 14 hours. It can become a scary situation outside of being extremely disruptive.
India needs electricity to grow.
India has a rapidly developing economy and needs to increase their electricity generation to sustain growth. We can easily relate this to more factories requiring more power. The motivation for nuclear power in many countries currently and historically has come from the lack of fossil fuels to power conventional plants.
Nuclear economics benefits a growing country. Nuclear power plants are known to have very high upfront capital costs but very low operating costs.
Low cost fuel is imported. Importing uranium is significantly cheaper than importing gas, coal, or petroleum. This is important for a country low on natural resources. In this way, more money is directed domestically towards growth.
In terms of displacing coal power plants, nuclear is the best viable alternative that is ready to be deployed on such a large scale.
Nuclear power isn't perfect, but no generation source is. I believe it'll be an important part of the future energy mix for India.
BUT, there are some points which are against more nuclear plants in India.
Radioactive Waste: the waste produced by nuclear reactors needs to be disposed of at a safe place since they are extremely hazardous and can leak radiations if not stored properly.
While so many new technologies have been put in place to make sure that such disasters won't happen again like the ones Chernobyl or more recently Fukushima but the risk associate with them are relatively high.
There are power reactors called breeders they produce plutonium, it is an element which is not found in the nature. However it is a fissionable element.
Another practical disadvantage of using nuclear power station. It is not always possible by the developing countries to afford such a costly source of alternative energy.
Nuclear energy has given us the power to produce more weapons than to produce things that can make the world a better place to live in.
Eutrophication is another result of radioactive wastes. There are many seminars and conferences being held every year to look for a specific solution. But there is no outcome as of now.
Major Impact on Human Life: We all remember the disaster caused during the Second World War after the nuclear bombs were dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Even after five decades of the mishap children are born with defects. This is primarily because of the nuclear effect. Do we have any remedy for this? The answer is still no.
Various nuclear energy programs are undergoing in developed as well as developing nations like India. Nuclear energy advantage are far ahead of advantage of fossil fuels. That is the reason that it has become most favoured technology to produce energy.
- Khushboo Monga