“A tiny speck of plutonium-239, as little as three millionths of a gram, can cause lung cancer. One pound of plutonium-239 contains enough specks to kill nine billion people instantly” (Pringle 26). Plutonium-239 is a human-made element, also known as the most dangerous substance on earth. As a by-product of uranium fission, plutonium-239 is created by generating electricity from nuclear sources. Contrary to popular belief, nuclear energy is hazardous and threatening to health. The use of nuclear energy should be banned as evidenced by the number of accidents, health effects, and global impact.
Countless nuclear power plant accidents have been occurring quite frequently since its invention. Some accidents have even been underestimated, because the nuclear industry does not want the people to know about how dangerous it is. For example, the Three Mile Island Accident in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, occurred in 1979, but its full details were unknown until much later. Furthermore, due to the nuclear industry’s and the government’s reports, the residents believed that it was safe to stay in their homes. However, the accident ended up in the evacuation of approximately 140,000 residents, because “the situation was worse than we thought,” according to the nuclear company. The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster in 2011 and the Chernobyl Core Meltdown Accident in 1982 are also examples. These accidents were very serious, resulting in the release of radiation. As Hedley states, “The PWR (Nuclear power plant) is so complex that to guarantee that nothing will go wrong, is impossible” (71). Majority of the accidents were also partially due to human errors, such as the malfunctioning of equipments and machines, lack of training, and switching off the safety device unintentionally. Even though the nuclear industry have been attempting to achieve enough safety in the nuclear power plant system, they have not succeeded for around 50 years and are not even close yet either. The...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document