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Nuclear - Assignment Example

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It was this need for energy that pushed man to look for resources. Before the 20th century, fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas were the only…
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Nuclear We cannot deny the fact that man needs energy, whether it be heat energy, light energy, and in these modern times, electrical energy. It was this need for energy that pushed man to look for resources. Before the 20th century, fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas were the only resources used to provide energy. When Enrico Fermi developed the first nuclear reactor in 1942 (Nuclear Energy retrieved from library.thinkquest.org/3471/nuclear_energy.html), it paved the way to Nuclear Age.
Many countries resorted to using nuclear energy because of these reasons: One, it is more economical as it uses less fuel and produces more energy; two, nuclear energy lasts longer unlike fossil fuels which can be depleted; and three, well-maintained nuclear power plants do not emit substances that could harm the environment while coal and oil pollute the air when burned. (Nuclear Energy retrieved from library.thinkquest.org/3471/nuclear_energy.html)
Though nuclear energy has its advantages, its disadvantages far outweigh them. Let us take the case of the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant which, in 1986, had a meltdown (Nuclear Energy retrieved from library.thinkquest.org/3471/nuclear_energy.html) meaning the fission reaction went out of control resulting to an explosion in the nuclear plant instantly killing 2 workers of the plant and contaminating hundreds or perhaps thousands more in its surroundings. Within a few months, 26 more died because of radiation contamination. It was found out later that the cause of the accident was a flaw in the design of the nuclear plant and an undertrained operator. In short, human error is to be blamed. As for the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster last March 11, 2011, it was not caused by human error but by natural calamities. The tsunami that followed the strong earthquake on that day damaged the generators and coolants resulting to a meltdown in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Though no deaths from contamination were reported, thousands were evacuated from their homes to escape radiation contamination. There was radiation leak into the sea and radiation contamination was noted in the land, the air and even the food of the people. Too much amount of radiation in the body, as we all know, causes sickness and even death to the one contaminated.
Both the Chernobyl nuclear plant meltdown and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster showed mankind how disastrous and damaging the use of nuclear energy can be. With just a small error and the wrath of Mother Nature, lives are destroyed, structures and environment are damaged, and the saddest part of it is most of the disastrous effects are irreversible. The damage cannot be undone.
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