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NUCLEAR POWER

Nuclear Power An Assignment Submitted by Name of Student Name of Establishment Class XXXX, Section XXXX, Fall 2011

NUCLEAR POWER Nuclear Power Energy constitutes an important resource which is tapped and utilized in a variety of ways. Energy can be taken from hydropower, nuclear or fossil fuels. Both of these provide reliable sources but remain subject to various costs. The costs can be attributable to the environment, economics or associated with creating danger to health of living creatures through accidents or emissions of harmful materials. The source of energy should embrace security and safety of the environment, and cost effectiveness when tapping and manipulating. Nuclear energy is another reliable source for energy production. It entails the extraction of minerals transported to the processing plants where they are burnt to produce energy. This is a long and expensive process. The initial capital costs for the setting up of the plant are high. The extraction of minerals and their transportation also present enormous challenges. The costs of decommissioning the plant are also high and tedious. It takes quite a long time to decommission. This makes the adoption of such a means an expensive affair that calls for alternative sources of energy production. The use of nuclear energy has also many shortcomings. The disposal of refuse after fission is a huge challenge. The waste from the materials takes long time to dispose as it emits radioactive emissions. These emissions must be contained as they pose a health hazard upon humans. Exposure to frequent rays from the waste is said to cause genetic mutations and other health hazards including cancer. Consequently, it complicates the adoption of nuclear energy as an appropriate source of energy provision. There are also matters regarding the safety in the plant (Walker, 2004). There have been accidents caused by flaws in the safety setup and inappropriate designs in the

NUCLEAR POWER plant. The notable ones are the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster (2001) and the Chernobyl disaster (1986). This can partly be due to the complexity of the plant and the magnitude of the scheme. Since such plants do not guarantee safety, it is considered that this source is not a suitable one as compared to other sources like hydropower. Japanese government declared that the Fukushima Daiich had reached the seventh level of severity. According to the International Nuclear Event Scale this was the highest level ever witnessed all over the world. On 26 April 1986, people experienced the results of another worlds biggest nuclear accident. The reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power station in the Soviet Union exploded. The Japanese government and TEPCO were authorized to control effects of these disasters. The only way by means of which the government can prevent future disasters is ensuring that energy is generated safely (Turk, Bensel 2011). There have been controversies about the similar effects of Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents. The scholars point out key arguments that have been provided to explain the difference of these two accidents. IAEA believes that the Chernobyl disaster was caused by different factors. These factors include design error, operator error, and failure to establish labour safety. The explosion caused the death of thirty two people among them were fire-fighters and plant workers. IAEA states that this accident might lead to more deaths in the future, as a result of harmful influence of the radiation (Turk, Bensel 2011). To sum up, it is necessary to mention that nuclear proliferation and the chances or the risk of the use of nuclear material for wrong intentions remains ripe. The present tension regarding Irans nuclear program is a case in point. Terrorists or enemy nations

NUCLEAR POWER can use nuclear materials to manufacture weapons which can cause huge losses of lives and property. This is unlike other sources like hydropower and fossils, which cannot be manipulated and be used for such a wrongful act. From the foregoing, all these present sources of energy despite the shortcomings provide the basis upon which an analysis on their suitability can be assessed. The use of hydropower presents the least negative effects and should be encouraged where conditions are favourable.

NUCLEAR POWER References Cowan, R. Nuclear Power Reactors: A Study in Technological Lock-in. The Journal of Economic History, 50, 1990: 541-567. Falk, J. (1982). Global Fission: The Battle over Nuclear Power. London: Oxford University Press. Turk, J & Bensel, T. Contemporary environmental issues. San Diego, CA: Bridge point Education, Inc., 2011. Walker, J. (2004). Three Mile Island: A Nuclear Crisis in Historical Perspective. California: University of California Press.