Nuclear power also known as nuclear energy is created by nuclear fusion for purposes generating electricity and heat. Uranium is used as fuel by the nuclear power plant. This is because uranium is a highly effective energy source compared to gas or coal. Nuclear fusions, this is when the uranium is combined with the free neutrons releasing heat and breaking down into light elements. The uranium is intensely radioactive thus considered highly dangerous but when put in the nuclear power systems the radioactive is reduced thus becoming less dangerous. The nucleus power plant began in the early 20th century because some radioactive elements such as the radium release heat energy. The discovery of nuclear fusion was in 1930. James Chadwick in 1932 discovered a neutron that was potential for nuclear experiments. An observation made to show that the nuclear power is the most reliable, dependent and clean source of energy compared to the other fossil fuels. In addition, there are so many disadvantages of the nuclear power such as radiation released to the environment at any time (MacKenzie 52).
The nuclear power generators are used to generate 19 percent of the hydroelectric dams in the United States while in France they use 77 percent of electricity and are constructing 35 more nuclear power plants. In Asia, there are about 24 nuclear power plants constructed. An observation made that showing it to be the safest and cleanest way to produce electricity (Commoner 154). The nuclear power is economical this is because the cost of nuclear energy is much cheaper and produces more energy because of the uranium compared to others such as coal and gas. The construction of the nuclear power plants is expensive because of the mining of the uranium costs a lot of money for it is hard to find and for the construction of power plant for the first six months. However, once it is constructed more money saved because it produces a lot of heat thus, a large number of people will be able to access. The transportation of the constituents of the nuclear power to the plant site is much more cheaply compared to when the impurities of coal is been removed.
Radiation is a factor that has people worried of leakage but in the nuclear power plant there are measures taken so that their will not be any leakage. The steps taken to prevent radiation leakage are the radioactive waste is stored in boron silicate glasses and in ceramics they burry deep. In the United States they bury them in Yucca mountains in Nevada where nuclear weapons where tests were conducted. The nuclear energy does not produce toxic metals and exceedingly harmful gases to the environment. The waste produced by nuclear energy is less harmful compared to those produced by coal.
Uranium found in most part of the earth’s crust because of all natural elements, they are the heaviest metals. This makes the nuclear power be very abundant because of the fuel this observation made by Petr Beckmann. The uranium present is enough for fuel in the current US to have them operating in the most parts of the country. The nuclear power as a power source is very reliable because the uranium nuclear reactor life cycle last longer than the other reactors. It is said it can take 40 years or extended to 20 more years. The other nuclear reactors of coal and gas have less life span.238 Uranium will be able to last the planet for thousands of years (Cohen 13). The nuclear power is extremely useful to both the scientist and the environmental friendly. This because the scientist use it to create electricity and weapons while for the environmentalists it is not harmful to the environment. This fact observed by the organization of ecology and the environmentalist who did not approve or biased towards the plant.
The disposal of the radioactive elements does not provide a hundred percent prevention that it will not reach humans. Since the nuclear last for years so all, the radiation buried for almost 200,000years ago will be reachable, therefore providing more harm to the environment. It seen that radioactive waste cannot be stored in a safe place because most of the waste buried but there is no guarantee that it will not penetrate water. The water might rise to the environment and create damages and death of animals and humans.
Nuclear accidents occur an example of such disaster is the Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and the Fukushima. Due to the Fukushima incident in Japan in 2011, most countries have decided to close most of their nuclear energy policies and others banned the use of nuclear power plants. Examples of such countries are the Germany and Italy who have banned it. There is always a danger of meltdown because the cooling systems have the possibilities to fail therefore causing the core to overheat burning the reactor whereby radiation is released. An example of such incident occurred in Fukushima Japan (Negishi 12). The nuclear power energy is not clean this is observed in the accident that occurred in the Three Mile Island in the year 1979.
The Chernobyl accident occurred in 1986 in Ukraine a large amount of radiation released when an explosion and fire broke out. This radiation spread all over Europe and USSR western side. A report in 2006 has reported that over 30000 people have died of cancer due to the incident. This nuclear power plant accident is the worst that has ever happened in history followed by the Fukushima incident 2011. Due to this incident, the expansion of the Soviet nuclear power reduced to safety concerns and therefore they operate this nuclear power industry secretly.
There is a risk for terrorism to gain more power due to the construction of nuclear weapons. The weapons created when the plutonium used in a lot of quantity (Commoner 82). Mining of the uranium takes a lot of money and resources. This becomes very expensive and uses a lot of time. The nuclear power is a solution to the world’s energy problems but the used is too much because the plant should be ensured it is safe for the environment. The nuclear power source is not a long time project because it uses uranium to create energy. The uranium should not be dependent on because it is a metal that is mined this means that one day it could go extinct and the nuclear power plant could lose its meaning.
The spread of nuclear weapons this one of the worst disadvantage of nuclear power; this is because most government is not to be trusted with such power over this weaponry. In most countries where equality of the people and freedom limited this leads to concern that this government will use this weapons for their own purposes therefore leading to an outright war. The leaders who are also tyrants terrorize the people or use nuclear bomb to fight or take over other countries (Jungk 8). Countries such as North Korea are on the way to build an atomic bomb. This has become a paramount concern for all.
Cohen, Bernard. The Nuclear Energy Option. Pittsburgh: Plenum Press, (1990)
Commoner, Barry. The Poverty of Power. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, (1976): 78, 82-120,
Jungk, Robert. “The New Tyranny.” Fred Jordon Books (1979): 1-8.
Negishi, Mayum. “Japan raises nuclear crisis severity to the highest level”. Reuters (2011): 12.
MacKenzie, James J. “Review of The Nuclear Power Controversy.” The Quarterly Review of
Biology (1977): 52.