Nuclear Technology vs Nuclear Weapons - Essay Example

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This paper discusses the issues both positive and negative arising from the use of nuclear technology. This paper explores the pros and cons of the latter to draw a conclusion. It will also explore possible solutions to problems brought about by nuclear technology. …
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Nuclear Technology vs Nuclear Weapons
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Download file to see previous pages The use of nuclear technology in various spheres of life is rising although it has met stiff resistance from environmentalists. Some argue that nuclear technology is a problem, but others say its the solution.When Henri Becquereldiscovered radioactivity in 1896, he laid the foundation for the adoption of nuclear technology.The main forms of nuclear technology are nuclear medicine, nuclear weapons and nuclear power and its uses have been utilized in various fields. For instance, smoke detectors are made using this technology. Medical radiography is the largest application of nuclear technology in the medicine world. Through this technology, doctors use x-rays to get images of areasin the human body to assess injury or damage. In Agriculture, nuclear technology is used in the production of better species via induced mutation.Biologists also use it in insect control by sterilizing male insects (Carbon 2).
Problems and issues of nuclear technology
Nuclear energy accounts for about 16% of the world’s electricity. This kind of energy is produced through nuclear fission, a process by which a nucleus absorbs a neutron then splits into two lighter ones.Nuclear fission produces energy that drives the explosion of nuclear weapons which are highly destructive. For instance, a nuclear weapon weighing just over a ton produces the same explosive force as that of at least a million tons of TNT. Developed countries are turning to nuclear energy as an alternative source of power. The united States is the largest producer of nuclear energy in the world and accounts for at least 30% of the world’s nuclear electricity generation. Developing countries are investing millions into research and exploration of this kind of energy.Green house gas emissions by nuclear power is smaller as compared to coal (Lovins 35). In order to stem the spread of nuclear weapons, counties came together and formed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) whose objective is enlarging and accelerating atomic energy’s contribution to health, prosperity and peace throughout the world. The use of nuclear weapons in World War 2 had devastating effects on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, effects that are being felt to date. Many experts have argued that nuclear energy can help fight climate change. This is because a nuclear power plant emits very little or no carbon dioxide an argument that has been challenged by Mark Z Jacobson. In his analysis, Jacobson found that the use of nuclear energy leads to carbon emissions that range between 9 and 25 times more than that of wind power (Barton 1). The radiations released during the production of nuclear energy increase the risk of diseases like cancer. Therefore, those living near nuclear plants or working in them have a higher risk of getting cancer. An analysis by Baker et al shows that leukemia rates are elevated among children residing near 136 nuclear power plants in USA, Canada, France, United Kingdom,Japan, Spain and Germany. A single nuclear reactor produces at least 20 tons of high-level waste annually. Nuclear power plants and their waste can be the target of terrorists who can also use plutonium to make bombs because civil nuclear reactors use MOX fuel. Another predicament is that the use of n ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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