Nuclear Power Con Essay

2190 words - 9 pages

Nuclear Power -- Con.Since the days of Franklin and his kite flying experiments, electricity has been a topic of interest for many people and nations. Nuclear power has been a great advance in the field of electrical production in the last fifty years, with it's clean, efficient and cheap production, it has gained a large share of the world's power supply. However with the wealth of safer alternative sources of electricity, the dangers involved with nuclear reactors to humans (ie. cancer) and past disasters such as Chernobyl there are well based reasons not to pursue this energy source. New sources such as fusion power, new studies concerning the health of nuclear by-products and scares of ...view middle of the document...

'Fusion fuel releases a million times more energy then does burning a comparable weight of coal or oil; one teaspoon of deuterium, obtained cheaply from H20, contains the equivalent of 300 gallons of gasoline; a mere 1000 pounds of deuterium could fuel a 1000-megawatt power station for a year.' (Dean, 84) Such spectacular figures sound unbelievable. Using a thousand pounds of a substance to supply a 1000-megawatt power station for a year, such figures will cause plummeting electricity prices and make fission plants far too expensive.However, prices and efficiency are useless if the safety factor is abandoned. All three topics are dealt with in fusion, that is why it is such a miracle. In fact, a meltdown in a fusion reactor is impossible, which cannot be said for fission. 'Compared with fission reactors the absence of such fission products as radioactive iodine and cesium from the fusion cycle reduces the potential hazard by more then a thousand-fold.' (Dean, 84) This is accomplished because in a fission reactor the fuel is formed in a solid form which must be cooled by water, and if water is unavailable then a meltdown may occur. In a fusion reactor the fuel is a hot gas rather then a solid. Because of this even with a complete loss of cooling the gas would cool as it hits the cold walls of the reactor chamber. With future resources, some proven like solar others experimental such as fusion, there is a wealth of possible energy sources.However, new sources of energy will not reduce the risk of horrific fission disasters such as those at Chernobyl or Three Mile Island. Past disasters such as Three Mile Island are well- based reasons to reconsider nuclear technology. At the Chernobyl power station at 1:00 am on April 25, 1996 reactor number 4 was running smoothly. The engineers performed a standard test on the turbo generators (Engine that turns to produce electricity.) At 1:20am the operator turned off the emergency cooling system. 'The sharp temperature increase in the reactor core, the rupture of the cooling channels (releasing steam on to the red-hot graphite moderator, producing water gas) and the chemical reaction between overheated zirconium canning and water -- (releasing hydrogen) ignited by the fireworks of flying hot and glowing fragments produced by the steam explosion -- resulted in the explosion.' (Trainer, 116) As the two huge steam explosions tore the core apart, the force of the blast lifted the thousand ton cover lid above the core. Lethal radiation was being released into the air. The explosion gave of more radiation then two atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. The accident is an awful reminder that and explosion may not be only a freak occurrence. It so happens that it may be caused by other errors such as human blunder, low water supply or computer glitch, any misfunction may cause horrific problems.The Ukraine poisoned western Russia and almost all of Europe with the nuclear explosion at Chernobyl....

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