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This essay paper is original. It has never bee presented in any college, university or any institution of higher learning. Nuclear energy is one of the rarely used forms of energy in the world. Majority of the countries in the world are investing so much on oil energy that is never enough to satisfy fully the ever growing world population. Furthermore, this forms of energy contains other components such as carbon whose reactions with atmospheric air produces harmful gases to man. These gases have also contributed to global warming.
Other forms of energy such as charcoals and firewood that are more used in less developed has facilitated to more desertification which is threatening to man kind. Thus, it’s high time for us to ask our selves whether the use of nuclear energy is the solution to the global warming problem or is nuclear radiation an even greater problem. The following discussion can brighten our knowledge in nuclear energy and guide us in making sufficient decisions on the choice of these forms of energy.
There is an ongoing discussion on building nuclear energy reactors in the world. This is becoming very necessary as the people have already felt the impacts of global warming. Various countries of the world are looking for ways of maintaining economic growth as well as mitigating the impacts of global warming. There is need for us to reduce the emission that causes global warming. It’s therefore very crucial for us to identify and synthesize the merits and the demerits of using nuclear energy. (G.Tyler Miller, 297)
The demand for energy in the world is growing tremendously. Thus the use of nuclear energy is inevitable. Nuclear plants can produce a lot of energy to satisfy both the domestic and industrial needs. This is because the fissile atoms in uranium contain greater amounts of energy. When these atoms of nuclear are split they generate a lot of energy. For instance the amount of energy released is calculated to be more than ten million times compared to the amount released on burning an atom of fossil fuel. This is most likely going to take almost many hectares of land covered with solar collectors, hydro-electric dams and or wind farms to generate the equal amounts of energy. (G.Tyler Miller,325) This tells us that nuclear energy is an immediate solution to world energy crisis in the world.
The nuclear energy plant releases no or minimal greenhouse gases as compared to coal or gas-fired plants. There is only a very little amount of carbon gases that is released to the atmosphere during the mining of uranium, processing it, building and decommissioning of the nuclear plant. This shows that nuclear energy releases minimal amount of greenhouse gases as compared to other renewable sources of energy such as solar, hydro and biomass. Hence, it’s saver to use.
The main law material used to produce nuclear energy is uranium. It’s easily available. (G.Tyler Miller, 306) It can be obtained from open-cut mines and it’s usually very cheap to mine. The world uranium reserve is abundant and is expected to last even hundred centuries to come. This simply tells us that the supply of uranium is almost infinity. As a result the supply of nuclear energy will be a life time business. Thus nuclear energy will be abundantly available throughout lifetime once the nuclear plant is build. It’s therefore a reliable as compared to other sources.
It is estimated that the major cost of building a nuclear power plant is only felt during the commencing stages. Costs such as that of operating the nuclear plant, waste disposal and the decommissioning of the plant are minimal as compared to the benefits associated with the plant. These costs are incurred during the running of the plant. The plant can pay for itself after it has been installed. This is cost effective to the country as they only incur large cost at the beginning but enjoying the benefits with minimal costs afterwards. Thus is advantageous to use nuclear energy in order to facilitate economic growth.
On the other hand, it’s not joy riding at all use nuclear energy. Uranium that is a law material is explosive and dangerous to human heath. (G.Tyler Miller,310) If the nuclear radiation accidentally is emitted unto the atmosphere, they may have effects to the people, livestock and agricultural products over a long period of time. A good example is that of the 1986 Chemobyl nuclear accident in Ukraine whose was felt as far as UK. A lot of lives were lost in that incident while long term effects on unborn children are still felt up to now. Clearly no country in the world would like to invest on a deadly weapon that will erupt one day and claim the lives of many people. It’s unsafe to purse for nuclear energy project whose losses are more than the gain.
The construction of the nuclear plant is associated with the proliferations of nuclear weapons. Toxic plutonium is one of the law materials used in making nuclear bomb. It’s contained in uranium which is used to generate nuclear energy. It’s difficult to handle it. Terrorists in some countries may come into contact with these toxic materials. They may be tempted into constructing nuclear bombs. This is weapons of mass destruction which can claim the lives of many if left to explode. Terrorists may threaten to bomb other countries incase of some disagreement. Hence, threatening world peace. This will be unfair when people are living in fear in the world where they should live peaceful.
To construct a nuclear plant is very costly. A lot of capital is required in order to put structures into place. Costs involving emergency, containment, radioactive wastes and storage systems are required to be put into place before the project is began. Even after constructing the plant other costs must be incurred throughout the life time of the plant. This is too much as you cannot enjoy the benefits without parting away with money.
Another disadvantage of nuclear plants is that nuclear wastes from nuclear plant are difficult to store for a long period of time, this wastes need to be stored in a safe place that is inaccessible to wrong people such as terrorists. Such wastes are toxic and explosive. To find a place where to store them for along period time is difficult. Since they are dangerous, there is also need to employ people to protect the wastes from terrorists reach. As the duration is long, it will be costly for any country to do that. Not only that but also the geographical areal in which the wastes is going to be stored will be geologically endangered. The leakages from the wastes in the store may leak into the underground water systems. This will affect water living organisms and human beings at large. It’s too delicate and difficult to handle these nuclear wastes to any country.
From the above argument it is very clear that nuclear energy is another un-utilized source of energy in most countries. A lot of natural resource such as uranium is not fully exploited to help in booting the economies of different nations. Majority of these countries have developed a natural phobia against the consequences of uranium that is a major law material in nuclear plants. It’s out of this phobia that I also declare my stand that countries of the world should not consider nuclear energy as a safe and alternative means of heating their houses.
The weight of the demerits outweighs the weights of the merits. For instance the dangers of any leakage of atomic radiations into the atmosphere can create a lot of damages both to the living and to the unborn children. Citing a good example is the Nagasaki bomb blasts in Japan whose effects are still felt up to now. Children are born with deformities in some parts of that are due to mutation.
Finally the total over all costs of building and running a nuclear plant is exploitative. Large amount of capital is required to set up the plant. At the same time a good sum of money is required to maintain the plant. A lot of money is also needed to cater for the disposal of the nuclear wastes. It’s thus evident that the costs are ever felt all through right away from constructing up to the final stage. Nuclear energy should not made as away of providing sufficient energy in the world as it has more damages than benefits.