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Science Essay

Science Essay

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Published by Krit Chanwong
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Published by: Krit Chanwong on Jun 25, 2013
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Note: Ktoe is equal to around 1,000,000 lit equivalent of oil
Level
New Criterion D
Reflecting on the impacts of science
Descriptors0 The student does not reach a standard described by any of the descriptors below.1-2 State the ways in which science is applied and used to address a specific problem orissue.State the implications of the use of science and its application in solving a specificproblem or issue interacting with a factorAttempts to apply scientific language to communicate his or her understanding butdoes so with limited effectivenessMakes little attempt to document sources3-4 Outline the ways in which science is applied and used to address a specific problemor issue.Outline the implications of the use of science and its application in solving a specificproblem or issue interacting with a factor.Apply scientific language to communicate his or her understanding but does not doso clearly or precisely.Attempts to document sources correctly.5-6 Identify the ways in which science is applied and used to address a specific problemor issue.Describe the implications of the use of science and its application in solving aspecific problem or issue interacting with a factor.Apply scientific language to communicate his or her understanding but does not doso consistentlyDocument sources but does not always do so correctly.7-8 Describe the ways in which science is applied and used to address a specific problemor issue.Describe and analyse the implications of the use of science and its application insolving a specific problem or issue interacting with a factor.Consistently apply scientific language to communicate his or her understandingclearly and preciselyDocument sources completely
 Alternative Energy Usages in Thailand
The energy issue in Thailand has gotten a lot of observation from the Thai public. OnMay 22
nd
, 2013, there was a big power blackout in the Southern Region (Post, 2013). Thishas sparked some interest in a more sustainable energy source (Center, 2013). The issue isthat 77.7% of 
Thailand’s energy comes from imported fuels, and 900 billion baht is being
spent on importing these fuels into Thailand (Center, 2013). Firstly, this creates a rather
issue, because Thailand’s gas reserves are expected to b
e exhausted by 2023, and Burma isa rather unstable source (News, 2013). The process of creating electricity using fossil fuelsalso creates a lot greenhouse gases. Burning fossil fuels for its steam to turn the turbinescreates a lot more co2 than nuclear power, and fossil fuels are running out. Co2, one of themain greenhouse gases, blocks the sunlight from going out, therefore making the earthwarmer. (hyperphysic, 2013) This led to concerns about the apocalypse of the world. Manyalternative energy sources, like Solar Power and Hydroelectric Power started to appear, butthe best alternative energy sources for Thailand should be nuclear power and hydroelectric
 
Note: Ktoe is equal to around 1,000,000 lit equivalent of oil
power.In 2011, after the Fukushima Daiichi Disaster, PM Abhisit ordered the energyministry to reveal plans for the planned nuclear plants in Thailand (planned to go intooperation in 2026) (PUSSAYANAWIN, 2012). Protests in southern Thailand have stalled theseplans, but still, the government has announced that this project would go forth. However,an article from the nation says that the government of PM Yingluck has ordered the stallingof all nuclear projects until further notice (Thongrung, February 16, 2011) Nuclear power isexpected to lower the usage of oil to create electricity in Thailand from 70% (of the yearlyelectricity produced) to 40%, a massive drop (Thongrung, February 16, 2011). However,before going into more detail about this, we shall examine how a nuclear plant works.Basically, you put uranium into rods, and you put those rods in the water. When the rodscool down, it creates steam, which eventually turns the turbine, creating electricity.However, these uranium rods could melt if exposed to too much heat, and if the watersupply gets delayed, it could create a potential disaster (Lamb). This has happened, and thescars of this explosion are still new. The Fukushima-Daiichi disaster, following the tsunamisof 2011, shocked the world and Thailand, but on a larger scale, the explosion at Chernobyl(when the uranium rods were melted because of overheat with the uranium rods), whichcaused towns around it to be inhabitable for 20,000 years (Greenpeace, 2006). However,these explosions and disasters outweigh the advantages of it. Nuclear power offers a cleanalternative from oil, coal, and gas. It creates only 90g of Co2 per kWh, one of the reportedcauses of global warming, while coal creates 1,000g of co2 per kWh (Smith, 2013). Moreadvantages are that in France, Nuclear Power made 425 tWh in a year, which is 4 timesmore than what Thailand used at its peak year (134twh). Although France has a lot of nuclear reactors and generators, it could be used as an example for a nuclear dependent
society. In 2011, 79% of France’s power comes from uranium
-created electricity. Althoughsome plants in France are getting decommissioned, it has the lowest Co2 released per GDP.(WNA, Nuclear Power in France, 2013) It is estimated that nuclear power in Thailand couldreduce the use of fossil fuels by thirty percent (PUSSAYANAWIN, 2012). Nuclear power alsohas a low rate of death, measured by TWh. However, the disadvantages of these are thatare disaster could be very disastrous. An explosion could release radiation, causing cancer.(WNO, 2013) A nuclear plant does not last forever, one usually shut downs after 15 years of service. (WNA, National Policies, April 2013) A nuclear plants is a very expensive plant to run,costing 1000$ per tWh. However, when these disadvantages are compared with theadvantages, it is clear that nuclear power can provide a good alternative for the currentenergy model of Thailand.In 2003, the Bhumibol Dam produced 3% of Thailand
’s electric supply
(Hydropower,2013)
. The major dams in the north, most notably the Bhumibol Dam (Thailand’s Biggest
 
Note: Ktoe is equal to around 1,000,000 lit equivalent of oil
Dam) and the Sirikit Dam produced 44 ktoe a year (Center, 2013). This is just a little portion
of Thailand’s electricity production, but still a significant part. If possible, Thailand should
create more dams or even little levees in the Chao Phraya River to get the electricity from it.Small hydroelectric plants in rural villages have proven to be a huge success (Center, 2013).The costs may be high, but if we find the correct places to put them in, the end would justifythe means. However, according to an analysis by the Ministry of Energy, almost allrenewable energy (4,886 Ktoe) was used in the industry (Center, 2013), while mosttraditional renewable energy (biomass) was used in residential usages. Biomass continues todominate the renewable energy sector of Thailand, producing around 1,995mw of electricity at its capacity. (Center, 2013) However, this should be changed. Hydroelectricitywith all its advantages could save Thailand from an energy crisis. However, before we lookinto the advantages and disadvantages of hydropower, we must know how it works. Sobasically, you put a turbine in a dam (USGS). That dam releases water from a high elevation,spinning the turbine. However, there have been several incidents when there was too muchwater running through. The 2009 Sayano-Shushenskaya power station accident in Russiawas a good reminder of what such an incident might look like, when the roof of a turbineroom collapse, killing 75 (Boston, 2009). However, on a larger scale, the 1975 Floods inChina and the recent 2011 Floods in Thailand would also cause some controversy about thedeath rates, as water mismanagement was the main cause for both of the floods (Reference,1975). However, the advantages, in this case, would outweigh the disadvantages. Someadvantages of hydroelectric energy are that
they’re not as dangerous as other sources when
measured with deaths per tWh. (Fire, 2006) And again, the Small hydroelectric sites haveproven to be extremely effective due to the urbanization programs of the government andhave brought electricity to many rural villages (imported Hydropower, however, accounts
for more than half of Thailand’s hydroelectric power)
(Center, 2013). Damming these riverscould also destroy and flood cities (as was the case in the Three Gorges Dam) (Cruises, 2010).Another disadvantage of this threatens river wildlife. In the Three Gorges Dam, itthreatened already endangered Siberian Crane, which lives and depends on the YangtzeRiver. However, the major dams in Thailand, such as the Bhumibol and the Sirikit, actuallyimproved nature. Engineers made sure that these dams did not affect natural river flow, andit has done so. On one side of the dam, a fledging community laid on it. On the other side of the dam, a diverse eco system with turtles and some endangered fishes flourished. Also, itreportedly created an increase of rice harvesting and eco-tourism, boosting the economy.(Center, 2013) Having the opposite of the result of the effects of the Three Gorges Dam,dam operations in Thailand have proven to be a beneficial project.So, in the end, nuclear power and hydroelectricity is the key to ensure that thefuture is brighter than the past. With both of them having a low Co2 emission rate, a lowdeath rate, and an acceptable efficiency rate, both of these alternatives should beconsidered as a way of producing electricity until a new source of energy is found, or should

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