عنوان مقاله [English]
The ecology of the Earth is changing drastically due to the excessive use of energy and its inadequate basket. These changes have severely influenced the world, leading to certain changes, such as the melting of polar ice caps, rising water levels, forest fires, and the increase in hurricanes and tornadoes on Earth. These environmental disasters should be rooted in the developments resulting from the industrial revolution, the launch of industrial systems instead of traditional systems, and changes in the method of utilization. In the early 1970s, these developments caused the energy crisis set alarm bells ringing, exposing the world to two major crises, viz. limited fossil fuel resources and increasing environmental pollution. Since then, the main concerns have been economic development and access to alternative sources because all countries are facing energy shortages and resource problems, particularly fossil fuels, in view of global energy. The growing trend of energy consumption, particularly oil, is ongoing around the world. Despite all the extensive research and investment in alternative and renewable energy sources worldwide, oil and gas consumption has been in the first place in recent years, and the economic dependence of countries on oil and gas supply is on the rise. Currently, extensive efforts are ongoing worldwide to replace new energy sources, and good results have so far been achieved for the appropriate use of energy forms. In the present world, energy is generally found in three main forms of fossil fuels, nuclear energy, and renewable energy.
This research is descriptive-analytical in terms of methodology, an applied study in terms of targeting, and a library-documentary study in the method of data collection.
During the study process, the following goals are pursued in this article:
• Understanding energy consumption in the world
• Description of energy consumption and its impact on air pollution
• The need to use nuclear energy in Iran
The energy crisis has persuaded all countries in the world to reduce energy consumption and find new sources to meet their needs (Mousavi et al., 2017).
The Paris Agreement is one of the commitments concluded to prevent the increase of greenhouse gas emissions and the resulting temperature rise. According to the agreement, signed by more than 160 countries, the increase in global average temperature should be limited to less than 2 °C compared to the level before industrialization, and global warming should be limited to 1.5 °C (Dong et al., 2018).
According to forecasts, energy consumption in Iran will increase to 10 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day in 2025. The average annual growth of energy consumption in Iran has been about 5.5% in the last 10 years and, if this trend continues by 2025, the energy consumption in the country will reach 3752 million BOE. In that case, the crude oil exports of Iran will reach zero based on the current state of production. Iran was the fifth largest producer of crude oil in OPEC in 2020 and the third largest producer of natural gas in the world in 2019 (Steamers, 2017).
Nuclear energy cannot be considered a source of renewable or perishable energy. Although its reserves are so large that will not deplete in the predictable future, the fact is that its reserves will decline with the gradual use of nuclear energy and deterioration due to radioactivity, eventually being exhausted the same as fossil energy sources. Nuclear energy is important regarding the supply of global energy and low environmental degradation compared to fossil fuels. The majority of accidents at nuclear power plants have resulted from operational malfunctions or insufficient preventive safety tools, hence, both factors are being seriously and effectively addressed in ongoing research. Therefore, it can be predicted that a substantial part of the required global energy in the future will be supplied by nuclear energy (Evins, 2013).
With some of the largest proven oil and natural gas reserves in the world, Iran is ranked as the third and second largest possessor of oil and natural gas, respectively, in the world in 2020. At the end of 2020, oil reserves in Iran accounted for 25% and 12% of those in the Middle East and the world, respectively (Vijayalakshmi, 2018).
Since the cost of fuel required by a nuclear power plant is 10% of that in a similar fossil power plant, and given a 50-year lifetime of a nuclear power plant, the difference in cost amounts more than billions of dollars based on the current prices. As with other countries in the world, population growth is on the rise in Iran and is dependent on energy to develop the level of social welfare. On the other hand, in an era faced with the development of cities and metropolises, Iran needs to save its oil resources for future generations due to the need for development in parallel with other countries in the world. Instead of consuming and selling existing sources, they should be utilized in important manufacturing sectors and the petrochemical industry. Therefore, it is necessary to achieve an appropriate alternative source with the centralization ability, especially in metropolitan areas, and the possibility of replacement in terms of environmental health and economic development because there is the need for more energy in the current world and, consequently, in our country. On the other hand, the increase in the cost of fossil fuels and their impact has led to global warming and the development of environmental pollution. Therefore, nuclear energy is also an appropriate source of energy supply in our country considering the aspects and effective factors in the use of nuclear energy in first world countries. Additionally, the geographical location of Iran and the potential capabilities of its natural resources make the use of nuclear energy a positive and fruitful step towards environmental sustainability and no use of non-renewable energy because its use can be controlled for environmental protection, with an abundant and degradable primary source. As with other energy sources, nuclear fuels have destructive environmental effects during uranium mining and nuclear waste disposal but are not comparable to fossil fuels, and power generation from nuclear power plants lacks the pollution of existing power plants. Moreover, another feature of this type of energy is the lack of greenhouse gas emissions.
The increasing growth rate of world population, industrialization, and the emergence of various technologies led to the increased energy demand and prediction of limited and important resources of oil and gas as well as their excessive consumption. This has made the process of energy achievement and its conversion methods one of the most important issues in political, economic, and social life dimensions to the extent that it has affected the daily lives of individuals, families, countries, international policies, and national/international development plans. Nowadays, the need for survival and global development depends on energy production and consumption. On the other hand, energy statistics indicate that two important issues coincide with increasing human demand for energy in the world and Iran. The first is the increased demand for energy given the deficiency of existing sources, and the second is the increase in environmental pollution by the use of current energy sources. To fulfill these needs, humans seek a logical solution to respond positively to environmental friendliness through profit-making and utilization in economic dimensions. Man has so far achieved nuclear energy with numerous efforts. In the current developing world, man can satisfactorily take advantage of nuclear energy instead of traditional sources and methods and fossil fuels. Nowadays, humans know that they can properly and sustainably exploit this environmentally friendly energy. Meanwhile, our country can save its oil resources for future generations and, simultaneously, benefit from using those resources in the prosperity and development of mother industries such as petrochemistry. The replacement of fossil fuels with nuclear energy alongside other renewable energy sources can provide the best economic and environmental benefits, particularly in power generation, by using climatic and regional capabilities as well as specialized manpower in line with global development.