Last Updated 24 Mar 2020

The Truth About Nuclear Power

Category Nuclear Power, Truth
Essay type Research
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Nuclear technology has been the cause of more worry than hope. Since its very beginnin g humankind has exploited it for purposes of war rather than for the progress of humankind, but how good is nuclear power for the human race and the environment? By definition of the Merriam -Webster dictionary nuclear means "of , relating to, or powered by nuclear energy" and energy means "usable power (such as
heat or electricity)", therefore nuclear energy means usable power powered by nuclear energy ".

The reasons behind my choosing of this topic are because few know how nuclear really works and how good it is. Nuclear energy is the source of energy of the future therefore it is something that must concern us in terms of how safe it is for us as humans. Nations like china already have started very ambitious nuclear power plant projects that they hope can give them advantage in the future and I believe that very soon it won't be just china but the whole world that will have this technology but the question still remains how good is it? All literature cited in this paper has been selected through means of internet and none of it through hard copy books

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Nuclear Energy

At this point in time nuclear energy is something that is still unknown to most of the world, especially the third world. As of now only thirty -one countries in the whole world have nuclear power plants. Reasons for this that I am going to explain are three which are: Disposal of nuclear waste, dramatic accidents that have occurred and the mos t important reason is cost. Nuclear waste is one of the three big factors preventing nations from considering using nuclear energy.

According to the Merriam -Webster dictionary nuclear waste is " radioactive waste material, for example from the use or reprocessing
of nuclear fuel". The reason nuclear waste is such a big problem is that high level radioactive chemicals such as plutonium and uranium act as nuclear fuel for reactors in a nuclear power station but after they have been used they will produce high levels of radiation that is dangerous when exposed to.

Nuclear waste is a problem not only for countries thinking about using nuclear energy but those that already do.Nations like the US and its allies foresaw this problem early on and have been making deals with smaller nations to pay them for storing their nuclear waste. Other methods of taking care of nuclear waste include encasing it in glass and putting it deep underground, and also storing it in specially made nuclear waste storage facilities.

High level nuclear waste usually takes 40 to 50 years before its radiation levels have gone down to low. The second factor that makes it hard for nations to adopt nuclear power are dramatic accidents that have occurred in the past due to nuclear power plants. There have been three majors accidents regarding nuclear power in the past with Chernobyl in 1986 , Three -mile island in 1979, and Fukushima in 2011. These three accidents caused much damage to their surrounding ecosystems and caused international shock.

The Chernobyl Accident

Around 31 years ago, in the soviet state of Ukraine, specifically the city of Chernobyl an accident caused the destruction of the of the Chernobyl 4 reactor. The exact nature of this accident has been a point of argument for many researchers and scientist globally but the most used says that April 25 1986 was a day that was scheduled for testing how long turbines would spin and supply power to the main
circulating pumps following a loss of main electrical power supply.

It turns out the operator made a series of unsound decisions such as leaving the automatic shutdown mechanisms disabled which left the reactor in an extremely unstable condition. When the operator came back to attempt and enable the mechanisms, the reactor was way too unstable. When the operator began by entering the control rods, it caused a dramatic power surge which led to a series of radioactive explosions which killed 2 workers instantly and a further 28 where killed in the weeks following the explosion.

Three - Mile Island Accident

In 1979, March 28 was the date of another nuclear accident on the three -mile island in Pennsylvania, United States. It is still largely unknown what exactly happened on that day and much of it is still speculation but the official story says that around 4 a.m. prevented the pumps from pumping water into the steam generators which meant that the cooling system had failed that led to the reactor automatically
shutting down and the pressure in the primary system increased and the valve was supposed to contain the pres sure until it had lowered but it got stuck and the operators heard the alarm and thought they should cut off the emergency water supply unaware that the problem was the water being stuck already. Without any water the core overheated.

Fukushima Acc ident

Following the major earthquake in japan on 2011, a 15 -meter tsunami disabled the power and cooling supply of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors which had been built in the 60s. All three cores largely melted in the first three days.

Cost

The last reason why nations have a hard time adopting nuclear power is that there is way too much cost that goes with it. A single nuclear power station is $9 billion which is more than 50% of the GDP of many countries around the world not to mention the c osts of upkeep and the level of security needed.

Conclusion

Nuclear power may be the technology of the future and that is where I say we should leave it because as of now it is not practical for many countries around the globe because of the risks and costs associated with it. We should wait a little before we endeavour on this course.

References

  • Backgrounder on the Three Mile Island Accident. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nrc.gov/reading -rm/doc -collections/fact -sheets/3mile -isle.html
  • The Cost of Nuclear Power. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear - power/cost -nuclear -power
  • Energy. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.merriam -webster.com/dictionary/energy GCSE Bitesize: Radioactive waste. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/ocr_gateway/energy_resources/nu
    clear_radiationsrev4.shtml
  • Radioactive waste management (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.world - nuclear.org/information -library/nuclear -fuel -cycle/nuclear -wastes/radioactive -waste - management.aspx
  • Fukushima Accident (n.d.) . Retrieved from http://www.world - nuclear.org/information -library/safety -and -security/safety -of- lants/fukushima - accident.aspx
  • Ch ernobyl Accident (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.world - nuclear.org/information -library/safety -and -security/safety -of-plants/chernob yl- accident.aspx
  • Marcum, W., ; Spinrad, B. I. (2018, February 07). Nuclear reactor. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/technology/nu clear -reactor/History -of -reactor - development#ref307286
  • Martin, W. (2018, July 05). Nuclear power. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/technology/nuclear -power Touran, N. (n.d.). What is Nuclear Energy? Retrieved from https://whatisnuclear.com/nuclear -energy.html

 

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The Truth About Nuclear Power. (2018, Aug 26). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/the-truth-about-nuclear-power/

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