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Nuclear Power - Pros

By 5cuba5teve Mar 02, 2013 717 Words
The nuclear power stands on the border between humanity’s greatest hopes and its deepest fears for the future. But what happens inside a nuclear power plant to bring such marvel and misery into being? Imagine following a volt of electricity back through the wall socket, all the way through miles of power lines to the nuclear reactor that generated it. You'd encounter the generator that produces the spark and the turbine that turns it. Next, you'd find the jet of steam that turns the turbine and finally the radioactive uranium bundle that heats water into steam. Welcome to the nuclear reactor.

The main reaction taking place inside a nuclear reactor is nuclear fusion which is the process by which two or more

atomic nuclei join together, or "fuse", to form a single heavier nucleus. This is usually accompanied by the release or absorption of large quantities of energy. Fusion is also found in the process that powers active stars, the hydrogen bomb. Most nuclear fuels contain heavy metal fissile elements that can be made to undergo a nuclear fission chain reaction in a nuclear reactor. The most common fissile nuclear fuels are Uranium 235 and Plutonium 239. There is no disagreement that clean sources of energy are vital to the environment.

Nuclear energy has been proposed as an answer to the need for a clean energy source as opposed to CO2-producing plants.

Nuclear energy is not necessarily a clean energy source. The effects nuclear energy has on the environment pose serious concerns that need to be considered. Nuclear power plants constantly emit low levels of radiation into the environment. Various scientific studies have shown an increased rate of cancer among people who live near nuclear power plants; there Is also a degree of damage low levels of radiation cause to wildlife and plants. Radioactive waste is a huge concern. Waste from nuclear power plants can remain active for hundreds of thousands of years and has to be stored somewhere, this results in it polluting the entire environment with radiation surrounding it and making the habitat, infertile and unsuitable to live in.

regulated safety procedures are not being followed to ensure that nuclear power plants are safe. Even if all safety precautions are followed, it is no guarantee that a nuclear power plant accident will not occur. If a nuclear power plant accident occurs, the environment and surrounding people could be exposed to high levels of radiation. Terrorism threats are another concern that needs to be addressed. A satisfactory plan to protect nuclear power plants from terrorism is not in place. There is no disagreement that clean sources of energy are vital to the environment. The disagreement lies in what form that clean energy should be in. Supporters of nuclear energy argue that it is an efficient source of energy that is easy to implement. People against nuclear energy propose using combined methods of solar, wind and geothermal energy. Solar, wind and geothermal energy still have environmental issues, but ones that are not as great as nuclear plants or coal- burning power plants.

Some examples of nuclear power plants failing from the unsuspecting and uncontrollable threats is Japans Fukushima’s Nuclear Power plant being affected. After a 8.9 magnitude earth quake and 10 metre tsunami. Over 200,000 people had to be evacuated due to the hazards of radiation and some being affected by radiation.

But from these unfortunate experiences people have to face, there are now plans to work harder to improve the security, strength and evacuation procedures for nuclear power plants around the world. Another example is in 1986 a nuclear power plant in the Ukraine, Chernobyl had an explosion in it core this lead to dispersed large quantities of radioactive fuel and core materials into the atmosphere

Four hundred times more radioactive material was released than had been by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Approximately 100,000 km² of land was contaminated with fallout, Making it all inhabitable. Water sources were undrinkable, plants died and animals died and mutated as below.

Even though nuclear energy doesn’t have as much as a carbon footprint as some of our other energy sources it is clearly not the best way of producing energy due to its costs, impacts on the surrounding environments and the potential meltdowns.

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