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Should We Use Nuclear Energy or Not?

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Autor:   •  April 13, 2018  •  Research Paper  •  2,943 Words (12 Pages)  •  129 Views

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Should we use nuclear energy or not?

        Most people think that nuclear energy is very bad and the picture of soggy and cloudy nuclear reactors or the picture of a nuclear reactor like the ones in Chernobyl that had exploded spouting out radioactive materials. Yet this perspective should be changed as we are right now betting with different resources so we need to try and think if nuclear power for the future, as it is a fairly clean and simple way to get electricity.

First of all, lets start with the question what is Nuclear Energy? Most people would answer it’s the heating of water and they will not know anything else. Well that doubt needs to be cleared before I explain further. One of the most widely used types of nuclear reactor is the boiling water reactor. So what it does is that the core, usually is radioactive elements like uranium, will heat up causing the water to become steam that will go to the turbine and turn it to generate electricity. The reactor is below to understand it better.

[pic 1]

(United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission)

        Nuclear reactors are complicated so in short it is nuclear fusion. It is when “An atom gets split, kicking out a few more neutrons, which split other atoms, which release more neutrons, and then you have a chain reaction” (Qmechanic). In nuclear reactors, there are control rods which basically control the amount of energy (more or less heat) produced to create more steam or less from water, when the control rods are pulled out, there will be less control over the nuclear reactors. This is one of the causes why Chernobyl had blown up and not be able to continue service. Control rods are mainly made out of lead that would basically not allow the radioactive elements to do fusion. This may sound complicated yet its basically making water into steam to turn the generator that turns to create electricity.

Problems of Nuclear energy

One of the main problems of Nuclear energy is the radioactive waste that the reactor produces to create electricity are very expensive, complicated to make and dangerous since you are dealing with radioactive materials. To make you understand more here are the problems in more depth

Radioactive Waste

Well this is one of the most important problems about nuclear energy the waste it creates after the core elements such as uranium has been depleted and needs to be thrown away. These depleted elements could be dangerous to humans, animals or any other living things if not stored properly. You can just say just make it un-radioactive, but its not that simple as “The nuclear wastes contain radio isotopes with long half-lives” ("Disadvantages Of Nuclear Energy”). This means they will stay a long time as a radioactive element.

Radioactive waste contains some poisonous chemicals too like plutonium. This plutonium can be extracted and be used again as two main things nuclear weapons or creating electricity yet most countries do not use it for electricity. This means they are dangerous if these waste are just left on the ground or buried, as people can just dig it up and die or suffer if come into contact. (Kurz Gesagt, “Nuclear Energy Terrible”). Most countries ignore this waste and just dump it underground as by statistics “Over 30 countries operate nearly 400 reactors, managing several tons of nuclear waste yet only one is serious about a permanent waste storage” (Kurz Gesagt, “Nuclear Energy Terrible”).

Nuclear Weapons

Another very important problem is that this ‘nuclear waste’ can be used for nuclear weapons, which isn’t good at all. (Kurz Gesagt “Nuclear Energy Terrible”) This showed how strongly they affect the world when two cites in Japan are blown up by just one bomb each just in a matter of seconds. This showed how destructive nuclear can be and the impact to the world. In short, whenever there are nuclear reactors, in countries like Russia, America and India, there must or will be a nuclear weapon in the country. This is because both a nuclear reactor and a nuclear bomb/weapon have the same type of technology applied and this allows these countries with nuclear reactors to have nuclear weapons.

Nuclear Accidents.

There have been a lot of nuclear incidents yet only a few of them are very serious and have been a danger to human beings globally. For example, the Chernobyl incident, this is a very popular incident as because of this parts of Russia and Ukraine are closed because of the explosion on the nuclear reactor causing radioactive materials to spread worldwide. In short, since control rods are used to control the output of the reactor, they need to pull out the control rods during the test. This results in less control over the reactor and this was made worst since they were doing a test, they needed to restart the water turbine this cuts the water supply causing the radioactive materials to overheat. This made a steam build up where the control rod isn’t lowered. This steam build up is what made the Chernobyl Reactor blow up. All this was made by human error as one of the chief engineers conducted a test without following rules and regulations. The rules say that the power of the reactor should be at 700 mega kilowatts yet the test was done at 200 mega kilowatts. This caused the reactor to blow up all together. (Discovery Channel) One of the workers who survived Chernobyl was interviewed and said, “The thick concrete walls were bent like rubber” (Parry) this showed how strong the explosion was.

        These reasons make people think that other renewable energy such as: hydroelectricity, solar power plants and wind power are more preferable globally.

But, before we move on, we need to remove fossil fuels out of the picture as the source of them are depleting and they produce pollution and other unwanted sicknesses all over the world. Like said in Stephen Bocking’s argument on the almost exhausted renewable fuel, he said “a long-term supply of cheap and abundant coal is also a myth.”  

Back to renewable sources, all these have one common draw back. They cannot be in operation 24/7 and can only produce electricity at certain time or weather. This pictures a very bad idea as a source of electricity as electricity is widely used daily and every second of our lives. For example, in the morning it is used for things such as television and cooking appliances. Electricity is also used at night even when we are sleeping as heaters or air conditioners.

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