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Nuclear Power - Assignment Example

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In the recent past, nuclear energy has come into sharp focus because of the increased emphasis on many countries to adopt nuclear energy, which is considered to have numerous advantages against other alternative sources of energy.
This present paper will highlight on the…
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Nuclear Power s Introduction In the recent past, nuclear energy has come into sharp focus because of the increased emphasis on many countries to adopt nuclear energy, which is considered to have numerous advantages against other alternative sources of energy.
This present paper will highlight on the advantages and disadvantages of developing nuclear energy. The paper will further incorporate the discussion of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster as well as the 20th century Chernobyl nuclear meltdown and then draw a conclusion about risk versus reward of nuclear energy use.
Advantages of nuclear energy
According to Cravens and Rhodes (2008), developing nuclear power will lead to low cost of power because uranium, which is the key raw material of nuclear energy does not commonly experience frequent price fluctuations as compared to other fossil fuels. Secondly, nuclear power does not witness frequent interruptions as compared to hydroelectric power and Mahaffey (2011), further stated that it could run for more than 700 days uninterrupted. Thirdly, developing nuclear energy leads to less environmental pollution because they have a minimal emission of greenhouse gases.
Disadvantages of nuclear energy
According to Cravens and Rhodes (2008), the main disadvantages of developing nuclear power stems from safety concerns that are attributed to the raw materials used in the development process and even the waste or by products that originate from nuclear power plants.
For example Cravens and Rhodes (2008), stated that uranium that is used in developing nuclear energy is unstable and therefore its mining , transportation, and even transformation is a dangerous process of which in case of an accident the consequences can be grave. Secondly, the waste products that result from nuclear energy development are usually radioactive and hence if they find their way to the surrounding environment they can pose serious dangers to the health of the people, animals, and plants. Thirdly, in case of an accident at a nuclear power plant the consequences are usually grave and they can last for many years.
Case examples to demonstrate the disadvantages of nuclear energy
According to Mahaffey (2011), the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster is one of the worst nuclear disasters in the World’s history, which was caused by a fire explosion at the nuclear power plant that lead to deaths, injuries, and the emissions of large quantities of radioactive particles that spread wide across the region. The disaster is still fresh in the minds of many since its effects are still evident up to date because of various cancer cases and deformities that are attributed to the 20th century accident.
Mahaffey (2011) stated that the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster is another example of level seven nuclear disasters that has ever occurred in the World. It was caused by the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami that occurred on 11th March 2011. The disaster resulted in a few deaths and injuries that were equally attributed to the Tsunami and earthquake. However, the radioactive emissions from the disaster are not posed to cause grave health problems as compared to the Chernobyl disaster.
Conclusion
In this present paper, it is noted that nuclear energy is only advantageous because of low cost and less environmental pollution but other alternatives such as wind and solar energy offer very cheap source of energy that has nearly zero emissions of green houses. Considering, also the consequences of an accident at a nuclear power plant it can be conclusively stated that the risks of developing nuclear power outweighs its advantages and therefore, countries should avoid adopting nuclear energy use.
References
Mahaffey, J. (2011). Nuclear Accidents and Disasters: Nuclear Power. New York: Facts on File, Inc
Cravens, G. and Rhodes, R. (2008). Power to Save the World: The Truth about Nuclear Energy. New York: Vintage Publishers Read More
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