Why Nuclear Power Is Shunned In America

802 words - 3 pages

Due May 26, 2010Yixin YangPhilosophy 3KaufmanWhy Nuclear Power is Shunned in AmericaOn April 26, 1986, a meltdown occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, releasing tons of radioactive smoke over Europe, which is thought to have increased childhood thyroid cancer rates in Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus. Those who were affected by radiation fallout from the Chernobyl disaster, or those who experienced the horror of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki may decry the safety of nuclear power. In actuality, nuclear power is quite safe, and in terms of human lives lost over the years, it is much safer than even coal power plants while releasing none of the carbon dioxide that is so harmful to the environment. Americans remain convinced of the danger of nuclear power for one main reason: the media. Those who oppose the proliferation of nuclear power continue to spread propaganda to deceive the people in order to further their own ends. Although they seem to be authoritative, these misleading articles on the dangers of nuclear power not only make statements that are completely false, and are meant only to deceive the general public into opposing nuclear power.In the article "Nuclear Power Should Not be Used to Combat Global Warming", a coalition of "274 environmental, consumer, and safe energy groups" (Nuclear 148) gave their views on why nuclear power is not safe, and thus should not be used to combat global warming. There are a multitude of errors in this article, and it seems that at least a few of these groups, especially the Nuclear Policy Research Institute, should know that what the article is saying is false. For example, on page 150, the authors claim that "the [nuclear] industry still produces waste that is the most toxic, environmentally unfriendly stuff ever invented by man" (Nuclear). This statement is not only false, it is deliberately inflammatory, because not only is nuclear waste not the most toxic substance known to man, as they say, we humans manufacture and use substance that are more toxic than nuclear waste by far. The actual most toxic substance known to man is the Botulinum toxin. It is so powerful, that one millionth of a gram of Botulinum toxin would be enough to kill an average person. In contrast, it would take a dose of more than 300 rems of radiation to kill the same person. "An average [nuclear] plant employee receives about 2,000 millirems[2...

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