Nuclear Power Tradeoffs

Topics: Chernobyl disaster, Nuclear power, Three Mile Island accident Pages: 4 (1256 words) Published: December 12, 2011

As we learn about all of the different ways to power our planet we have to understand that there are in fact tradeoffs no matter what option we choose. I’m not sure where I read the quote but I stumbled across a comment that stated “we were afraid of fire once too” this just means that we have to understand that no matter what we choose the past has helped pave the way to making whatever we chose a safer more efficient way to give us power. Imagine the thousands of people that have died from mining coal or building dams like the Hoover to harness the power of water. Basically new technologies carry with them new risks to fear but the bottom line is we will do what we need to do in order to make sure we have power and as we progress we will make sure the new technology is safer. Recent Disaster

For all intents and purposes the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and its six reactors actually survived the devastating earthquake that struck the northeast coast of Japan’s main island, Honshu, on March 11. It was the tsunami that followed, and the resulting fourteen meter high wall of water, that caused the real damage, washing away tanks holding diesel fuel for backup generators which eliminated the electricity to run the pumps that provide cooling water to maintain the temperature of the reactors. As a result, three of the six reactors and two spent fuel pools experienced at least partial “meltdown” a layman’s term that basically means the melting of the uranium fuel rods that power a nuclear reactor.

The Bad
Fukushima, being the worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, leaked unknown amounts of radioactive iodine, cesium, and plutonium which are just some of the more than 700 by products of uranium fission into the environment. Radioactive isotopes could be detected as far afield as tap water in Tokyo, several hundred miles to the south, and in rain in Massachusetts at least an ocean and a continent away. Around the world, the...
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