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Nuclear Power - Research Paper Example

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Nuclear Power The advancements in technology have moved mankind from the era of Stone Age to a period of globalization, connection and machinery. The supply of energy and power has become an essential component of the everyday life of all human beings and this world cannot be thought of without energy in different forms which include electricity…
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Nuclear Power The advancements in technology have moved mankind from the era of Stone Age to a period of globalization, connection and machinery. The supply of energy and power has become an essential component of the everyday life of all human beings and this world cannot be thought of without energy in different forms which include electricity. Resources for energy have become a subject of concern owing to the belief that fossil fuels would exhaust after a period of time and this has led to the quest for other sources of energy. Nuclear power has served as one such breakthrough and it is now utilized for the production of energy; in particular electricity. The advent of nuclear power provided hope that there was an alternative which could slow down the speed of consumption of fossil fuels and provide greater energy. But the negative aspects of nuclear power cannot be ignored and it can result in havocs, catastrophes followed by other drawbacks and hence it can be classified that nuclear power is a necessary evil (Klapp et al 2007, p162-164, Miller et al 2009 p 205). The advent of nuclear power was considered to be a step of technological advancement. It was considered to be a measure that would lead to a reduction in the cost of production of energy owing to the fact that the fuel for nuclear reactors is cheap. But with more analysis it has now been understood that the building of nuclear power plants requires a very high amount of investment and cost. During the mid of the twentieth century, it was put forward by scientists that by the end of the century, nuclear power would be a major source of provision of electricity throughout the globe. But this goal could not be reached as even after the passage of six decades accompanied with increased government budgeting for the process, it was analyzed that the cost of producing energy via nuclear power was above the other ways which included coal, gas and wind (Miller et al 2009 p203,206; Swain 2007). Thus it is extremely true that “Due to the dwindling sites and uranium resources, each successive new nuclear power plant will only see its costs rise with taxpayers and consumers ultimately paying the price"("Ten Strikes Against Nuclear Power" 1). Thus this highlights the fact that building of nuclear power plants actually serves to burden the common people and is not an effective advancement for them. Cost is not the only drawback of this form of energy but it is also seen that like other forms of energy, the sources of fuel for the nuclear reactors will exhaust and hence it is not a permanent form of energy provision. Thus it cannot be counted to be the only source of energy and resorted to on the basis of this aspect. Furthermore, the nuclear reactors serve to produce waste that is radioactive and toxic. There need to be proper measures for the disposal of this hazardous waste and a safe method for the disposal of this waste have not been put forward (Miller et al 2009 p203,206; Swain 2007; Klapp et al 2007 p 166; Nebel et al 1993 p 500). “The waste from nuclear power plants will be toxic for humans for more than 100,000 years"("Ten Strikes Against Nuclear Power" 1).  This highlights the fact that nuclear power which is basically meant to assist mankind can prove to be rather a burden and have hazardous effects for very long periods of time. Different plans that were devised for the storage of waste in underground storage have also not proven to be successful (Miller et al 2009 p 206). Nuclear power does not only pose environmental risks but it also carries risks for the lives of human beings. Nuclear reactor sites of the nations can serve to be as targets of attacks of terrorism. This would result in not only the destruction of the reactors but it can also result in accidents which can prove to be large scale. The destruction of reactors would also affect the energy output. Furthermore, the severity of the nuclear disasters is very high and the effects of these disasters do not tend to subside for many years. Though, many assurances are provided by the supporters and members of the nuclear power plants but accidents have resulted in these plants (Miller et al 2009 p 206; Nebel et al 1993 p 500). This includes the disaster of Chernobyl Power Plant in Ukraine in the year 1986. It was classified as the worst catastrophe owing to nuclear power plants. It was believed that the amount of hazardous radiations that were released into the environment was much more than those that resulted from the atomic bomb explosions on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 56 people lost their lives and many had to be displaced owing to the radiations in the atmosphere. The effect was so severe that the radiations were considered to be present in the air even after two decades of the incident. Furthermore, the nuclear warfare and weapons are another major risk associated with nuclear power. These nuclear weapons possess the capability of destroying the entire mankind (Miller et al 2009 p 205; Swain 2007). Thus, it can be analyzed that nuclear power plants are a source of much greater risks than the benefits that they provide."The nuclear power plant stands on the border between humanity's greatest hopes and it's deepest fears for the future"("How Nuclear Power Works" 1). This form of power cannot be considered to be an ultimate solution for the energy. Hence the usage of nuclear power should be discouraged and alternate sources of energy should be researched and worked upon to save the environment and the people from the harms of nuclear power. Works Cited Top of Form KLAPP, J., CERVANTES COTA, J. L., & CHA?VEZ-ALCALA?, J. F. (2007). Towards a cleaner planet energy for the future. Berlin, Springer. Top of Form MILLER, G. T., & SPOOLMAN, S. (2009). Sustaining the Earth: an integrated approach. Belmont, CA, Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning. Top of Form NEBEL, B. J., & WRIGHT, R. T. (1993). Environmental science: the way the world works. Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice Hall. SWAIN, D. (2007).Disadvantages of Nuclear Energy. Associated Content. Web 10 Apr. 2011. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/302902/disadvantages_of_nuclear_energy.html?cat=15 Bottom of Form Bottom of Form Bottom of Form Read More
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