October 23, 2010
Environmental Biology L/LB
Harmful Effects of Nuclear Energy on Human Health and the Environment
Over the past decades, scientists, conservationists and environmentalists alike have been searching for clean, renewable sources of energy. As we enter move further into the Common Era, the human population will continue to grow exponentially; therefore, the demand for resources will grow as well. Energy is the primary resource needed to sustain a human population; however, commonly used energy resources, such as coal and oil, have either become scarce, or have caused harmful effects to the human environment. In recent years, scientists have discovered other sources of renewable energy. Wind, sunlight, water, and nuclear chemicals have been deemed the cost effective and harmless to the environment. Extensive research has led to the development of new technologies that utilize sources of renewable energy. However, it has been argued that salvaging nuclear energy has produced unnecessary radioactive waste, and has caused detrimental effects on human health the environment.
Scientists from the National Institutes of Health claim that nuclear energy is produced “when an atom’s nucleus is split into smaller nuclei by a process called fission.” These fissions create a large quantity of energy that can be collected to produce electricity and provide suitable power for advanced technologies such as the atomic bomb and the space craft. The use of nuclear energy has been growing significantly; unfortunately, there are some drawbacks to the use of nuclear energy. The use of nuclear energy has been in debate for a long time. Nuclear waste can be detrimental to human health as well as the environment. Scientists commonly refer nuclear energy with the creation of nuclear weapons. If nuclear elements react in a manner that produces too much energy, the result could be tremendous. Nuclear explosions can disperse...