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Nuclear Power For Mankind. Essay

1769 words - 7 pages

When risks are inevitable in such a society like the one in which we live in today, it is important that the implications of government regulation for technologies for which the public demand is present and the safety issues are not determined or resolved as yet, be addressed. This paper addresses the use of nuclear power for the betterment of mankind and concentrates on the disadvantages and advantages of having such technologies present in our society.Nuclear energy has played an influential part of our lives, by providing a clean and reliable source of energy. Nuclear Energy is energy released during the splitting or fusing of atomic nuclei. The energy of any system, whether physical, chemical, or nuclear, is manifested by the system's ability to do work or to release heat or radiation. The total energy in a system is always conserved, but it can be transferred to another system or changed in form. Nuclear energy fuels about 20% of the US electrical energy. Questions about the safety and economy of nuclear power created perhaps the most emotional battle fought over energy. As the battle heated during the late 1970s, nuclear advocates argued that no realistic alternative existed to increased reliance on nuclear power. They recognized that some problems remain but maintained that solutions would be found. Nuclear opponents, on the other hand, emphasized a number of unanswered questions about the environment: What are the effects of low-level radiation over long periods? What is the likelihood of a major accident at a nuclear power plant? What would be the consequences of such an accident? How can nuclear power's waste products, which will remain dangerous for centuries, be permanently isolated from the environment? These safety questions helped cause changes in specifications for and delays in the construction of nuclear power plants, further driving up costs. They also helped create a second controversy: Is electricity from nuclear power plants less costly, equally costly, or more costly than electricity from coal-fired plants? Despite rapidly escalating oil and gas prices in the late 1970s and early 1980s, these political and economic problems caused an effective moratorium in the United States on new orders for nuclear power plants.Public concern about the suitability of the use of nuclear power as oppose to the cheap and increasingly scarce fossil fuels arose from two basic features of the system, the first being the high level of radioactivity that is prevalently present at various stages of the nuclear cycle, specifically the waste disposal, the second being that nuclear materials such as uranium-235 and plutonium-239 are the very materials that nuclear weapons are made. In 1953 in an effort to offer a more reliable, plentiful and reasonably affordable source of energy, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced the U.S. Atoms for peace program. It was a breaking point to offer the future a better source of electrical energy....

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