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Is Nuclear Power Renewable Energy?

Renewable energy can be defined as the sustainable, clean source of energy derived from naturally occurring resources. The main elements constituting this definition are sustainable, clean, and natural. Sustainable implies that the source can be regenerated over and over again without depletion. Cleanliness, which is the main force behind the advocacy of renewable energy sources, denotes minimal harm to the environment, especially concerning air pollution (Kannan & Vakeesan, 2016). Lastly, renewable energy is obtained from the naturally-occurring elements, implying that it can be easily accessed, cheaply generated, and conveniently supplied to consumers.

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From the definition of renewable energy, nuclear power does not fit the description of a renewable source. The first reason is that although the energy can be regenerated, it is dependent on Uranium-235, which is very rare. This implies that its naturally occurring element cannot be accessed easily. It is important to note that the power itself can be renewed, but Uranium has a half-life, which means it can be exhausted. The second reason is based on its environmental impact, especially during energy generation. The by-products of nuclear energy generation are radioactive elements, which can cause considerable damage to the environment and human life if not properly handled.

As future energy needs continue escalating, solar energy will be the best option to supply steady and sustainable power. The main reason solar energy will be better than other renewable sources is that it is not geographically limited as opposed to hydropower and wind power (Kannan & Vakeesan, 2016). Many regions of the world have moderate to high sunlight durations most of the year, implying that it can be easily generated to provide a continuous power supply (Kannan & Vakeesan, 2016). Again, it only requires a simple solar panel for harvesting as opposed to hydro and wind power that rely on complex systems.

Reference

Kannan, N., & Vakeesan, D. (2016). Solar energy for the future world: – A review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 62, 1092-1105. Web.

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