What are the ways that Solar Energy is more environment-friendly and feasible than Nuclear Energy?

The more, the better. The arguments should be at least remotely feasible. I’m looking for ecological arguments why Solar Energy is a better alternative than Nuclear Reactors.

9 thoughts on “What are the ways that Solar Energy is more environment-friendly and feasible than Nuclear Energy?”

  1. Solar:
    – can be produced locally and at scales appropriate to need/use
    — removes inefficiency of transmission
    — reduces cost of infrastructure
    — reduces impact of infrastructure
    — reduces security risks
    — facilities can be added to existing structures
    – multiple ways to create energy (PV, steam, chimney effect)
    – can be used to create forms of energy other than electricity, such as:
    — heat, motion, or used directly as light
    — removes inefficiency of multiple conversions
    – in the case of large scale solar facilities, a decommissioned plant can usually be converted back to cropland, habitat, urban use, or any use almost immediately
    – a catastrophe at a large scale solar facility would be reason to evacuate no more than the most local community (this has happened in a oil-based solar trough plant)

    – from design to decommissioning, including mining and refinement, nuclear power produces about 75% as much carbon dioxide as fossil fuels
    – nuclear power currently is only developed in HUGE plants, thus concentrating power production, so it is only feasible near large population centers, presents a national security risk (as well as risks of wastes mentioned by others)
    – nuclear can only be used to create electricity, which requires transmission infrastructure to point of use, which is costly to build and maintain
    – nuclear power must heat water, which is used to turn turbines, which generate electricity — so nuclear energy must be converted three times to become electricity, and there is a loss of efficiency at each stage
    – nuclear fuel requires large amounts of mining at multiple stages:
    — intense cement and steel production for construction, both industries of which are huge carbon emitters
    — large amounts of uranium mining to produce enough ore to be refined into fuel
    — large amounts of petrol must be extracted to fuel the mining and transportation equipment/vehicles
    – a nuclear plant can be "decommissioned" but the plant can never be fully removed, and the land and resources will not be able to be reclaimed for any other use for millions of years
    – a catastrophe at a nuclear plant means the evacuation of a large area, and could render a large area uninhabitable for eons
    – the only nuclear facilities ever seriously considered for small scale power production, known as pebble bed reactors, reduce concentration of nuclear fuel, but vastly increase the volume of nuclear waste

  2. solar energy gathers energy from the sun, no waste is produced

    nuclear uses uranium chain reaction to heat water and then use the steam to turn turbines and produce electricity

    the thing is that nuclear power plants emits radiation to a small radius, and can kill millions if the power plant is destroyed

  3. Well it is quite clear – nuclear reactors can leak, they can blow up, they can kill millions. Solar energy doesn’t need a reactor, if they do leak – which they may, I doubt they are as dangerous as nuclear, and it isn’t very likely you will get sick from a solar energy source.

  4. friendly because it doesn’t require massive scale construction, concrete, time, and creating, handling and disposal of nuclear material.

    feasible? for what purpose? for the vast majority of applications, it’s not currently feasible. too expensive and too low output

  5. Actually Nuclear is better. The plants that make solar panels make A TON of pollution.

    Nuclear is COMPLETELY environment friendly. The Uranium is a mineral found in nature. The only horrible thing that can happen is a melt down. But, because of the precautions they take, this is an EXTREMELY rare event.

  6. Solar energy produces no waste whereas spent nuclear fuel has to be stored somewhere. Nuclear reactors still have an exhaust system while solar energy does not. Solar energy requires no fuel aside from that required to produce the panels while nuclear energy requires potentially dangerous chemicals. Solar energy can not cause a nuclear meltdown that wipes out an entire region of Russia.

  7. it is not.

    solar energy can not deliver enough power. we should all have it, yes. but we also need other stuff.

    more environment friendly? sure, but not by that much.

    feasible? not yet, not with this technology.

    plus, nuclear technology is much safer now days.

  8. They both have their place, so if you’re planning for a debate, you’ll have to take this into consideration. Your argument should be for solar, but not against complete replacement of nuclear. If you argue the latter, you’re sure to lose, unless your opponents are incompetent.

    But to answer your question directly:

    – Solar can provide heat directly, without being converted to mechanical motion and then electricity. It is thus more efficient at heating (say) water.

    – Solar scales down well, so a single house system can be feasibly installed. A nuclear reactor needs at least an apartment-building load to be feasible. And they would only do that in Russia, because

    – Nuclear reactor technology can be used to breed weapons materials. And even if you couldn’t construct an A-bomb, if you could order fuel for your home reactor, a bad person could grind it up into a fine power that would make a hazardous mess when blown up in a public place.

    – The nuclear waste and radiation hazard also make nuclear unsuitable for single-home usage. These are not as much of a problem for a centralized plant.

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