Nuclear Energy

Good or Bad?


Is Nuclear Energy harmful or helpful?


  • Nuclear energy is the energy formed by nuclear fission which was discovered in the late 1930s.
  • Nuclear energy can be harmful in the form of nuclear weapons, like the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  • Nuclear fission creates radioactive waste that is dangerous to any living thing that comes in contact with it.
  • Nuclear energy is also beneficial as it can create large amounts of electricity with much less fuel than conventional combustion engines, that run on fossil fuels.
  • Also, Nuclear fusion, which combines atoms instead of breaking them like nuclear fission, releases far more harnessable energy than fission but it’s quite literally harnessing the power of a sun.

Effects on the Environment

  • In the hands of terrorists, or other radical groups, this energy could wipe out much of the world’s population in the form of an atomic or dirty bomb.
  • Certain wastes of the nuclear energy are toxic to many animals and could harm an entire species.
  • The nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl adversely affected the wolves in the area, as they were the apex predators(most of the radiation was concentrated there, like other pollutants.) The wolf puppies grew up disfigured from the radiation.
  • Nuclear energy is very expensive and would not be a reliable source of energy, because of its price. Nuclear power plants take up large amounts of space, and the cooling towers create massive clouds of steam, reducing visibility.


  • Make nuclear power safer and have no waste or byproducts that can be harmful to the environment.
  • Also, limit the production of nuclear weapons, especially in the hands of untrusted, dauntless people.
  • Different types of energy that are safer and cheaper could be used to replace nuclear energy, like geothermal or solar energy.


  • Nuclear energy is shunned for the fact that it could turn into a severe disaster.
  • The Three Mile Island Incident, The Fukushima Earthquake, and the Chernobyl Meltdown all released nuclear and radiological waste into the surrounding area, with Chernobyl causing fatalities.
  • Many critics say that the tried and tested ways of dealing with waste are not effective ways of storing the waste that Nuclear reactors are too expensive to construct, and they have a limited lifetime.
  • They believe that terrorists could use a reactor to create nuclear weapons like the ones used in the final days of World War II.
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Opposing Evidence

  • Nuclear energy lowers the greenhouse gas emissions which is healthier for the environment.
  • Also, nuclear energy is a powerful and efficient source of energy.
  • The supply of nuclear energy is vast, and is a continuous source of energy, since the fuel can be recycled.

Work Cited

"Nuclear Energy." Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection. Detroit: Gale, 2015. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 6 Nov. 2015.

Graetzer, Hans G. "Nuclear fission." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. Ed. K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner. 5th ed. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale, 2014. Science in Context. Web. 6 Nov. 2015.

Lochbaum, David. "Energy, Nuclear." Pollution A to Z. Ed. Richard M. Stapleton. Vol. 1. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004. 185-188. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 6 Nov. 2015.


Harkavy, Robert E. "Nuclear Capability and Nuclear Energy." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. Ed. Philip Mattar. 2nd ed. Vol. 3. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004. 1696-1699. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 12 Nov. 2015.


Newton, David E., and Larry Gilman. "Nuclear power." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. Ed. K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner. 5th ed. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale, 2014. Science in Context. Web. 12 Nov. 2015.

"Nuclear Energy." Earth Sciences for Students. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008. Science in Context. Web. 6 Nov. 2015.