The Student Room Group


What will replace fossil fuels in the future? Why? and does it have any side effects and benefits to this kind of energy.
Nuclear power and other renewables such as wind, solar, tidal and more.

Fossil Fuels are a finite resource - meaning they’re limited as the resource such as coal, gas and oil only a have a few sources around the world. Fossil Fuels are also awful for the environment producing carbon dioxide and harmful gases like sulfur dioxide which causes acid rain; of which decreases forests which increases the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide leads to global warming and global warming makes the planet inhabitable for life especially humans as the ice from the antarctic will melt causing a lot of land to be flooded or all land (not sure).

Why use renewables or nuclear?

Did you know that nuclear could be considered as a renewable? This is because the waste product from nuclear reactors can be produced into more nuclear product, however, this is not always the case. You may not see much information about this online, but one of my friends work at Westinghouse Springfields Fuels Ltd mentions they’ve recently started contracting other companies to convert their nuclear waste into more nuclear fuel. It is new science, but it works. However, do not reference this as GCSE Science is quite simple minded and not complex. It’s just interesting to know.

Nuclear is also far more efficient than coal. 8 kWh from 1 kg of coal compared to around 24,000,000 kWh from 1 kg of uranium-235 massive difference. Nuclear also has zero emissions. Nuclear has a long lifetime so it is a very reliable fuel source.

Nuclear, however, is obviously dangerous as many people have died from radiation from explosions from nuclear reactors or just being exposed to the particles it emits. It is also quite expensive to build a nuclear reactor, but cheap to run. There is security threats and also it has a waste product that needs to be stored underground as it is radioactive.

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