Nuclear Energy: Humanity’s LAST Hope?


our world is becoming increasingly more
complex and connected for 95% of humanity’s existence we didn’t even know
about electricity there is a fundamental physical law which states that energy
cannot be created nor destroyed but only transformed in that sense all the energy
we currently use in our homes communications factories among many
other things had not been created in a coal factory or in the desert with solar
panels the energy that humanity uses had always been transformed from a source be
it coal factories or in hydroelectric power plants that use kinetic energy
from their turbines or in nuclear power plants the world has a constantly
growing need for energy as the world population increases to meet the needs
of each and every one of us so far the easy solution had been to burn fossil
fuels such as coal or oil but this has taken a toll on the planet these
resources are finite and are rapidly declining so what solution has been
proposed to face the inevitable energy crisis the answer isn’t so simple since
it is a matter in which politicians economists and above all scientists have
been debating for a long time however time is running out and it is critical
that we find another sustainable and perpetual source of energy fortunately
we are coming close to a semi perpetual source let’s begin the earth a floating blue sphere in the
middle of an endless vacuum this blue marble contains life thanks to a
combination of key factors but the most important is the heat and energy
produced by our Sun our source of life it is the main factor responsible for
our plants to germinate and it is the reason why our oceans contain life and
what maintains the world’s food cycle however the world currently uses most of
its energy thanks to the burning of fossil fuels currently oil is the most
important source of energy for society being responsible for 33 percent of the
energy obtained followed by carbon with 24 percent gas with 22 and the rest of
renewable energies and nuclear energy only make up 15% in a world with a
limited source of oil extracting 40 million barrels of oil per day or more
is clearly not sustainable even if other potential oil reserves were found this
would only end up damaging the environment in the long term it is even
estimated that oil will run out in about 40 years gas isn’t sustainable either
even if Russia has the largest gas reserves in the world at the current
rate of extraction we will run out of gas in just 160 years even the abundant
carbon one of the basic elements of the universe is not unlimited on our planet
but carbon is not eternal and with the current rate of consumption it will only
last another 400 years this may seem like a long time to us but in the scale
of the history of humanity it’s practically nothing so to ensure
the continuity of our species society and civilization monumental efforts have
been made in order to transform our economies from being fossil fuel addicts
into economies that consume clean and sustainable sources of energy for a few
years now European countries have been developing strategies to increase
infrastructure to free themselves from fossil fuels and although now for
example there are countries such as Sweden and Denmark that produced more
than half of their energy from renewable sources there are other nations such as
China the u.s. or Poland that still depend on burning coal to power their
cities other countries such as France for example depend heavily on nuclear
energy powering an entire country such as the United States solely with solar
and wind power would require an enormous scale of construction of solar panels
extending through practically all the deserts of the country although this is
technically possible distributing the energy throughout the
whole country is another story so we can see the practicality of oil and gas they
can be stored and later burned to generate electricity when needed in the
case of solar panels the energy produced by sunlight is instantaneously converted
into electricity if it isn’t used immediately it can still be stored in
batteries by applying this to such a massive country it proves to be quite
problematic theoretically solar energy could be enough to cover all our energy
needs as a civilization so how can we turn this into a reality
take for example the most famous desert in the world the Sahara this desert
covers multiple countries in North Africa extending over nine million
square kilometres the Sahara Desert receives countless hours of sunlight per
year but could the Sahara supply our entire energy demand theoretically yes
if we only covered 1.2 percent of the Sahara Desert and photovoltaic panels we
would be talking about an approximate 100,000 square kilometres covered in
solar panels these panels could generate enough energy to cover the entire global
demand the engineering challenge would be the development of a system capable
of storing and distributing all this energy to Europe Africa Asia and the
Americas Africa does not have very good electrical networks a new infrastructure
capable of transporting this energy over long distances would be needed so what
would be the geopolitical and economic risk of concentrating all the world’s
production in this one region not to mention the engineering and economic
complications that must be solved to carry out this project in the first
place another solution could be the widespread use of nuclear energy after
the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 who was demonstrated
that the power of the atom that either leads humanity to its salvation or its
destruction the truth is that decades of research by scientists ended with the
construction of nuclear power plants around the world which are mostly water
based nuclear power plants inside a container the nuclear fission is
produced which separates the heavy atoms such as uranium while neutrons are being
bombarded therefore the atoms are separated which produces a control chain
reaction which produces heat which then boils and evaporates the water which
then drives a turbine nuclear power became more widespread after the oil
crash of 1983 when oil prices increased disproportionately after the embargo of
the open country’s more than half of nuclear
reactors were built during this time millions of scientists and politicians
were convinced that nuclear power would be the solution to all our energy
problems but we quickly realized that the physics and engineering was not so
easy to translate from blueprint to reality and above all it was very very
expensive a couple nuclear disasters such as Chernobyl and Fukushima the
closed nuclear power plants throughout the world and the government should
focus above all to develop solar and wind energy and although there are still
countries especially emerging countries that continue to build nuclear power
plants other countries such as Germany Japan and France are beginning to
renounce nuclear power recently China which is the number-one polluted country
in the world has taken on the role of being a leader in the construction and
development of clean and renewable energy currently the situation in the
country is dire where for example in the capital Beijing breathing the air for
one day is equivalent to smoking 20 cigarettes a while ago China made rounds
in world news because it managed to create an artificial Sun that managed to
acquire a temperature of a hundred million degrees Celsius enough to
generate nuclear fusion fusion and nuclear fission are two different things
Fusion is for example the engine of our Sun it is the same process that makes
all the stars in the cosmos shine and the principles that under great
pressures and temperatures it is possible to fuse atoms that would
normally repel each other generating atomic quantities of energy
fishing on the other hand is the inverse it is the separation of atoms in order
to not complicate matters for a long time scientists have been trying to
imitate the same atomic process that our Sun performs in experiments here on
earth but in order to do this we must create conditions similar to our star in
other words emulate a mini Sun capable of achieving nuclear fusion capable of
generating electricity for everyone nuclear fusion does not produce any
radioactive waste if the scientific community can fully develop nuclear
fusion we will have unlocked access to a clean and almost infinite source of
energy the Chinese experiment was also a
statement to the world that China is trying to lead efforts to solve the
nuclear fusion puzzle but it is not the only country these advances will
contribute to the construction of the International thermonuclear experimental
reactor a project developed in the South of France where 35 countries will
collaborate including the US Russia and the EU the objective
of this project is to achieve in some way the same reaction that takes place
within the heart of our Sun but at the moment they are just experiments and
although it has been possible to carry out the fusion and small lapses of time
for the moment it costs more to carry out all the experiments then the energy
actually produced by the fusion there are still decades before it is
commercially viable and perhaps it will never be the problem is we may never
really reach the point of imitating the conditions present in our Sun here on
earth before the moment while some countries led by presidents like Trump
that refused to transition to other sources of energy are committing to not
develop their technology in order to allow humanity to free itself from
dependence on oil and other fossil fuels continuing to burn coal can be a simple
and short-term solution but they are risking the availability of energy in
the coming years currently there is a very interesting concept called the
Kardashev scale it visualizes the level of development of a civilization based
on the energy that it can harness a type one civilization for example would have
the capacity to collect all the energy from its native planet but us humans
aren’t even a type one civilization yet were estimated to be only at 0.73 a much
more advanced civilization that evolved into a type two civilization with the
potential to collect the energy of its host start how could that be possible
well theoretically they could develop gargantuan solar panels that would
encase their star to capture all of its potential energy and finally the type 3
civilization would be able to harness the entire energy of its host galaxy but
we are millions of years away from reaching this potential so all in all
our planet’s resources are finite but in a couple centuries we may reach the
status of a type one civilization we will then be forced to look for
alternative forms of energy so what do you think about the incoming energy
crisis do you think we should focus more on renewable energy sources or should we
risk a little more to achieve nuclear fusion that could potentially completely
solve this issue so I hope you enjoyed this video and don’t forget to Like and
subscribe if you haven’t already see you next time

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