Nuclear power: friend or foe?
Foe. Here's why:
Nuclear power provides 20% of the power used in the United States and it's working fine, what's the problem? It maybe not here, but there have been many nuclear power plant related disasters such as Chernobyl, Fukushima, and Kyshtym. These have all happened in countries very far away from the U.S, but it could happen here, too. There are pros, but more cons.
Nuclear power has a relatively low operating cost, low carbon dioxide emission, and also a developed technology we're familiar with, AND it generates lots of power! What's wrong?
Lots of things. So many things that they put the good to shame. A lot. Advantages and disadvantages below.
Nuclear waste can take up to 220,000 to 500,000 years to become stagnant. Too long. Then there's the power plant explosions. These are very deadly. Some of the pictures below are Fukushima, Japan when it had an explosion at their nuclear reactor. People within a 12 mile radius were being evacuated, and the nuclear fallout would've still reached where they evacuated to, luckily though, the metal shielding protecting the nuclear reactor was not damaged. Only 4 workers were injured, but, not all incidents are so lucky. Chernobyl, Ukraine; April 26, 1986. The most disastrous single nuclear event in history happened. The whole city was evacuated after an enormous nuclear meltdown at their nuclear facility. The city is still very radioactive and still not safe to live in. Being exposed to nuclear waste and fallout can cause many diseases, like cancer. I've included a few pictures of both Fukushima and Chernobyl. Some of the pictures below are mutations due to too much radiation exposure and may be disturbing to some.
As you see, radiation is too much of a danger to people and the world to keep around for too long. Humans will have to find new sources of energy once our fossil fuels and uranium runs out, probably for the better.
Interesting facts (Quotes)
As you can see above, nuclear fallout exposure can harm everything from plants to people. Nuclear plants can also be a target for terrorism, which could affect the whole surrounding area and eventually spread around and effect surrounding areas as well.Nuclear power plants use large quantities of water for steam production and for cooling. Some nuclear power plants remove large quantities of water from a lake or river, which could affect fish and other aquatic life. This could effect the food chain of the surrounding area and spread. Every 18-24 months nuclear plants must shut down to remove its spent uranium fuel, which becomes radioactive waste. Uranium is a nonrenewable resource that must be mined. We will eventually run out of uranium, just like oil. When we store the radioactive waste in the very expensive storage areas, it is stored there for a very very long time. Here are some pictures of waste storage. Also plutonium is used for nuclear reactors, which just happens to be the most dangerous material in the world.
Then they put these in a big pool of water
Nuclear power is some good, but mostly not. The risks are too high to put these power plants everywhere, which could lead to explosions and fallout. Below are more pictures of Fukushima, Chernobyl, and a little cartoon.
Fallout map if the core reactor in Fukushima would've been damaged.
This is the fallout from map from Chernobyl on May 12,1986. As you can see it spreads fast and far.
And finally here is a little cartoon that sums up everything.