Benefits of Nuclear Power Plant
Recently, the cost of oil is getting higher and higher. The government has also instructed to all of nation apparatus and people to use oil wisely. The crude oil was almost about $135 per barrel. That problem surely forces us to try to find alternative energy to make this condition better. Many scientists have tried to give some solutions to solve energy crisis in our country. Actually, there are many kinds of alternative energy like using renewable resources, winds, solar cells, geothermal, and nuclear. However, choosing the best is not easy. Each of them has its own pluses and minuses. One of good energy alternative is nuclear energy. Nuclear energy is beneficial because it is cheap, safe and environmentally friendly.
Firstly, the nuclear energy is cheap. We can know from the news of television that the cost of crude oil always increases every year. If we compare the cost of oil with the cost of nuclear energy, we will know that the cost of nuclear energy is cheaper. Even, when the cost crude oil is low, the nuclear energy is still cheaper. The nuclear energy usually uses enriched uranium as fuel of reactor. It takes just a little uranium to operate a commercial reactor. As a comparison, one gram of uranium as nuclear fuel equals to 2.4 ton energy of coal. It is very economical. Besides that, the price of nuclear energy is stable because the uranium reserve can store the uranium for several years when the price is low. The storage of uranium is simple. It only requires small space. It means that the uranium can be easily stored until it is needed. Most countries can not store its oil reserve for years. They do not have enough space to store more than 3 or 6 months supply of fossil fuel. It needs a large space. Alternative energy like nuclear energy is one of good solution get small storage and efficient space for national energy.
Secondly, the nuclear energy is safe. The use of nuclear for power plant needs a good coordination between technology, human resources, and regulation. The Integration of the three factors will create safety for people, workers and environment. The Knowledge about safety for using nuclear has advanced from publications of researchers in the world. There is a safety testing known as Probability Safety Assessment (PSA) in nuclear. That assessment can reduce the accident until one millionth. It means in one million action or operation in reactor only one probability of accident. It can be concluded that the operation nuclear reactor is very safe. Besides that, The nuclear power plant is equipped with a fine system known as Defense In Depth. When you are using nuclear as power plant many factors has to be calculated and estimated for make sure that the system will operate safely and running well. All procedures have been regulated with international standard from International Atomic Energy Agency – United Nation (IAEA-UN). If a nuclear power plant is operated in Indonesia, it will be similar like the one in USA, Japan, France, etc. When one country plans to build a nuclear reactor, it must be chosen from the one which has been to work well in other countries. That technology must have been operated for several years without accidents.
Thirdly, the nuclear energy is environmentally friendly. The power plant which uses fossil fuel will produce many dangerous gases like carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, etc. The side effect from fossil fuel power plant is not only poisonous gases but also the increase of greenhouse effect and global warming in the world. those things may trigger the melting of glaciers and the ice in the north or south pole. That condition can drown every port city and seacoast in the world. Besides that, sulfur dioxide will cause acid rain. It is also very dangerous. That’s very different when we use uranium as fuel. When enriched uranium is burnt to operate nuclear power plant, it will not produce dangerous gases. The nuclear reactor will operate environmentally friendly without emission. The nuclear fuel is pure and has no sulfur. It is not in contact with the air only confined in fuel element or reactor vessel. That means no nitrogen and no smoke produced to the environment.
Finally, nuclear energy has been tested to be most beneficial to society of the world. Nuclear energy has also known to be a protector of the environment because of the decrease of CO2, greenhouse gases, and other gases which emitted into the atmosphere. Dependence of oil must be reduced by using alternative energy. So, our government should alter our perspective that nuclear energy will give a low price energy to Indonesian people.
Jakarta, June 16th 2008