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Nuclear Power - Research Paper Example

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Nuclear Fuel as an Alternative Source of Energy Professor number Nuclear Fuel as an Alternative Source of Energy Nuclear fuel as an alternative to fossil fuels which form the bulk of the energy needs of the world today has to be explored in the wake of the unsustainability of the use of fossil fuels…
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Nuclear Power
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Nuclear Power

Download file to see previous pages... The possibility of switching to another fuel as the main provider of energy involves complex problems since many machines that are in use at present would not be able to make the switch without incurring huge financial expenditure. It would, thus, involve a huge initial cost that would result in many protests. It is not, however, the case that other forms of fuel that are held up as viable alternatives are able to fulfil most of the requirements that are set for a form of fuel. Hydroelectric power, apart from causing a massive initial expenditure for the setting up of dams and other machinery, also causes the dislocation of many communities which live around the place where the dam is to be located. This has led to many disputes in the past. Apart from this, the portability of hydroelectric power is also a problem that is cited as a disqualifying factor when the sustainability of different fuels is spoken of (Ryan, 2009). The importance f different renewable sources must be taken into account while looking at an alternative to fossil fuels as the major source of energy for the world as a whole. It is in this context that the use of nuclear energy needs to be assessed. The advantages and negatives of the fuel need to be looked into and their relative merits scrutinized. For this, one must initially make oneself familiar with the process by which energy is extracted from nuclear fuel. Nuclear energy is created by inducing reactions within the nuclei of an atom. The energy that binds the parts of the nuclei is released when the parts disintegrate. This is what leads to the production of nuclear energy. This can be harnessed to be channelled into constructive activities. It can also be used for making explosives that may then lead to disasters. The process of harnessing this energy is a tricky one and must be done with great care to avoid disasters (“Nuclear Energy”, n.d.). The disaster that happened at Chernobyl was one such accident. It was, however, not due to the inherent faults of nuclear energy but due to the inability of the people who were employed at the plant to oversee the production of the energy. The aspect of the disaster that needs to be noted while looking at the viability of nuclear fuel is the fact that it was avoidable. In the sense that the disaster was the result of negligence, the lives of many could have been saved (“Chernobyl Accident 1986”, 2012). This does not mean that nuclear fuel should be abandoned as a whole. This was what happened in Japan following the earthquake related disaster in 2011. The shutting down of nuclear power generators followed public protests and the very option of nuclear fuel for energy was abandoned (McKeating, 2012). Nuclear energy does have its own disadvantages. The waste that forms as a by-product during the production of nuclear energy is difficult to dispose of. Apart from this, carelessness on the part of the people who operate the reactors can lead to massive loss of life and property. The operation of reactors needs to be done with the utmost of care for the safety of the people who work at the reactor and the ones who live near it. The problem of the lack of fuel is also something that needs to be looked into while assessing nuclear fuel as a viable option (“Disadvantages of nuclear power”, 2010). The advantages, however, are many. The waste that is produced is very small since very small quantities are required for the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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