Nuclear Energy

Why nuclear energy is a foe.

How Nuclear Energy Is Made

There are two ways nuclear energy can be produced one way is nuclear fission. When nuclear fission is made, it releases energy in safe amounts and it is controlled when it happens. For it to be produced, it takes the nucleus of an atom and splits it into two smaller nuclei. While that happens, a minuscule amount of the mass of the nucleus is made into a big amount of useful energy. This energy in the form of heat is taken to boil water and make steam. The steam turns turbines, which make generators produce electricity. Another way nuclear energy is made is nuclear fusion. Fusion needs very hot temperatures. It is, also, hard to contain once it has begun. Nuclear fusion happens when the nuclei of hydrogen atoms fuse together to make a bigger nuclei, releasing energy while that all happens.
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Cons to nuclear energy

Nuclear power plants are very expensive to build, and one reactor takes 7-10 years to build. And just after 30 years of running and producing energy, a nuclear power plant would have to be shut down. Therefore, it has a very small life span. Nuclear energy, also produces radioactive waste and some of it can remains radioactive for thousands of years. And once that waste is made it is very hard and expensive to get rid of it. Another con is that, there is a fear of a nuclear reactor exploding, but this could not happen because the uranium fuel that it uses is not concentrated enough to cause that type of reaction. But something could happen at a nuclear power plant and cause radiation and develop cancer to people around that. And there is another fear of radiation leaking unsafe amounts of radiation into the air. And if that were to happen, it would cause mutations and medical risks to the people around the power plant. The probability of having a nuclear meltdown is slim, but there is no stopping it from happening. Just look at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, they had multiple ways of cooling the reactor, but the earthquake and tsunami won. Nuclear power is an energy source because we need an alternative to fossil-fuels, but running out of fossil-fuels isn't the problem, its the fossil-powered vehicles. The quote "Every dollar spent on nuclear is one less dollar spent on clean renewable energy and one more dollar spent on making the world a comparatively dirtier and a more dangerous place, because nuclear power and nuclear weapons go hand in hand."-Mark Jacobson, is very true and where he says its not clean, he means the waste it produces.

Disasters with Nuclear Energy

Three Mile Island was a nuclear accident in Pennsylvania that had a small radiation leak. Fortunately, the accident didn't put anyone's health at risk around the nuclear plant. This was a startle to Americans and gave a reason to why nuclear power is a bad thing. Partly because of the Three Mile Island leak the United States paused the building of nuclear reactors in the 1970s. Chernobyl was a far more dangerous nuclear accident. The accident of the nuclear reactor exploding had to do with flawed reactor design that was operated with inadequately trained operators. For example, the operators turned the safety systems off, which was a mistake considering what would happen later. The plant had four working reactors, the operators were working on the unit 4 reactor. They were running a test on an electrical control system. They were running this test under unsuitable conditions, a situation which allowed an uncontrollable power surge to happen. This power surge caused the nuclear fuel to overheat and led to a series of steam explosions that very badly damaged the reactor building and completely destroyed the unit 4 reactor. Fukushima is the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986. The nuclear power plant in Japan was hit by a tsunami and earthquake and triggered this nuclear meltdown. The tsunami and earthquake disabled the power supply and cooling of three Fukushima Daiichi reactors, causing a nuclear accident and release of radioactive materials. "Three reactors were severely damaged, suffering at least partial fuel meltdowns and releasing radiation at a level only a few times less than Chernobyl."-MITei. The boiling water reactors at the nuclear power plant are equipped with an elaborate set of systems designed to ensure that cooling of the fuel in the reactor core and spent fuel pool is maintained in the event of an accident or shutdown.

What happened to the people and wildlife near these nuclear accidents?


There are a big number in the amount of people who died of a health risk, who lived around the Chernobyl area. "Mental health is a critical issue faced by survivor of the disaster. People don't have timely and accurate information, and this has caused serious troubles, ... Kids who were exposed who are now 20 years old have been called Chernobyl invalids. They have an annual medical exam by 20 doctors so they think for sure something's wrong." -Fred Mettler

Pros to Nuclear Energy

Nuclear energy can make a big amount of energy using little fuel, for that reason it is inexpensive. And unlike coal-burning power plants which lets ash, chemicals that produce acid rain, and radon, it is very clean because it releases no pollutants. Also, coal-burning power plants are a major source of carbon dioxide, which creates a lot of global warming. "Concerns about climate change and air pollution, as well as growing demand for electricity, led many governments to reconsider their aversion to nuclear power, which emits little carbon dioxide and had built up an impressive safety and reliability record." -MIT Energy Initiative. "For countries such as Japan that don't have natural resources like oil and gas, nuclear power plants are attractive options. The cost of construction of nuclear power plants is high, but fuel cost is low; it would be hard for Japan to back out now, experts said." CNN (writing about Fukushima).

Successes in nuclear energy

Works cited

Works Cited

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