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Advantages of nuclear power generation:

Nuclear power generation does emit relatively low amounts of carbon dioxide (CO 2). The
emissions of green house gases and therefore the contribution of nuclear power plants to global
warming is therefore relatively little.
This technology is readily available, it does not have to be developed first.
It is possible to generate a high amount of electrical energy in one single plant.

Disadvantages of nuclear power generation:

The problem of radioactive waste is still an unsolved one. The waste from nuclear energy is
extremely dangerous and it has to be carefully looked after for several thousand years (10'000
years according to United States Environmental Protection Agency standards).
High risks: Despite a generally high security standard, accidents can still happen. It is
technically impossible to build a plant with 100% security. A small probability of failure will
always last. The consequences of an accident would be absolutely devastating both for human
being as for the nature (see here , here or here ). The more nuclear power plants (and nuclear
waste storage shelters) are built, the higher is the probability of a disastrous failure somewhere
in the world.
Nuclear power plants as well as nuclear waste could be preferred targets for terrorist
attacks. No atomic energy plant in the world could withstand an attack similar to 9/11 in New
York. Such a terrorist act would have catastrophic effects for the whole world.
During the operation of nuclear power plants, radioactive waste is produced, which in turn
can be used for the production of nuclear weapons. In addition, the same know-how used to
design nuclear power plants can to a certain extent be used to build nuclear weapons (nuclear
proliferation).
The energy source for nuclear energy is Uranium. Uranium is a scarce resource, its supply
is estimated to last only for the next 30 to 60 years depending on the actual demand.
The time frame needed for formalities, planning and building of a new nuclear power
generation plant is in the range of 20 to 30 years in the western democracies. In other words: It
is an illusion to build new nuclear power plants in a short time.

Steps to Nuclear Plant Construction


In a competitive electricity market, there are three steps to construction:

file an application for a combined U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission license,


which will allow a company to build and operate a nuclear plant, provided the facility
conforms to approved specifications
begin procurement of major long-lead components and commodities
proceed with construction.

Notably, the industry never stops working on the large capital projects that are an
ongoing part of maintaining and refurbishing the 99 existing reactors. For example,
the industry has made major upgrades at many plants to boost the amount of
electricity they produce. For example, Tennessee Valley Authority refurbished the
Browns Ferry 1 reactor in a five-year, $1.9 billion project, on schedule and within
budget. The reactor had been shut down since 1985, but was restarted in 2007 and
provides electricity to serve 800,000 homes.