Nuclear Power FRIEND or FOE

by Allie Goelz and Nicole Doge

Should Nuclear power be used?

Nuclear power should not be used because of the radiation emitted from it and the fact that easier less expensive forms of power can be used. Even the NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) says they would prefer to use other methods. They have said nuclear power is dangerous because 42-59 of the most significant scenarios aren't put into precautionary measures when building Nuclear Power plants.

Why shouldn't Nuclear power be used?

  • Human errors have cause nuclear power plant melt downs and there is no way to protect from those mistakes.
  • The plants are vulnerable to terrorism- what better place to bomb than a nuclear power plant that could contaminate tons of people?
  • No matter how many backup systems you have worse things could happen causing a meltdown
  • EXPENSIVE- 6 BILLION dollars MINIMUM to START building a nuclear power plant
  • Melt downs are even more expensive to clean up than to build the machine itself^^^^^

What IS Nuclear energy?

Nuclear energy when the nucleus of an atom is broken creating energy which is harvested for power. Nuclear power gives off radiation in three forms Alpha, Beta, and Gamma rays. Alpha rays are the least harmful and can be stopped by thin paper, a few centimeters of air, or skin. Beta rays are a bit stronger and take aluminum to stop them. Gamma rays are the most harmful and take large amounts of soil or lead to slow down the rays. Radioactive elements have half-lives which tell how quickly the element decays. These half-lives can help researchers predict how long the element will 'live.'
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Nuclear Power Around The World

Chernobyl

The Chernobyl meltdown was a tragedy. Because of human errors, the reactor exploded sending radioactive material everywhere. Quickly, cement was dropped on top of the reactor to try to stop the spread, but sadly the explosion caused radiation to extend into surroundings countries. 5 MILLION people were effected by this incident and effects are still noticed today

Mayak

A meltdown in the Ural mountains of Russia is said to be worse than Chernobyl. The cooling systems failed to cool the nuclear waste causing an explosion. 270,000 people and 14,000 square miles of land was effected by the explosion. Before the explosion in 1957 the plant had exposed surroundings to radioactive waste because of dumping water into a nearby water source. Natural water sources are still contaminated today. Radiation levels at Mayak are some of the highest in the world today.

Three Mile Island

In Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania there was a nuclear meltdown. Pressure buildup in the systems made the relief valve open. Employees did not realize the valve was open and reduced the coolant flow because of the reduced pressure. With all the gauges shut down the workers underestimated the temperature of the workers wrongfully guessed how much coolant was needed. Radiation leaked into the water around the rods and pregnant women and small children were evacuated because of the radioactive contamination risk.

Many famous people have opinions on Nuclear Power. Here are a few powerful quotes about it.

“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 Z. Jacobson


“Nuclear power plants must be prepared to withstand everything from earthquakes to tsunamis, from fires to floods to acts of terrorism.” - Ban Ki-moon


“Nuclear accidents anywhere can affect people everywhere.” - Ban Ki-moon


“The future is green energy, sustainability, renewable energy.” -Arnold

Schwarzenegger


“If our nation wants to reduce global warming, air pollution and energy instability, we should invest only in the best energy options. Nuclear energy isn't one of them”. -Mark Z. Jacobson


“There is no need for nuclear. The world can be powered by wind, water and sun alone.” -Mark Z. Jacobson


Talking about Nuclear power and how there are still worse things that could happen. Just because "events are improbable does not mean they are impossible." Jim Riccio

Alternative Power Sources

Wind

There are quite a few different alternatives to Nuclear energy. First off there's wind energy. They only cost a fraction compared to a Nuclear power plant. (100-40,000) Wind turbines help areas that are worse off because of it's expensiveness. In Minnesota 100 MV of energy harvested from wind turbines has given them 1 million dollars in revenue and 250,000 in direct payments per year. Because the energy doesn't have to be mined or dug up the cost is so much cheaper. (gone from 40 cents to 2.5-5 cents) This would give the countries more money because electric bills would be significantly decreased. Also, because it doesn't produce pollution nearby water sources and nature are safe from contamination. Wind energy would be a great alternative to Nuclear
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Solar

The sun shines everyday and energy can be harvested from it. NICE solar panels can be purchased installed for 20,000 or less. Solar energy also doesn't give off pollution so you wouldn't have to worry about your surroundings when installing a solar panel. Jimmy Carter wanted to convert to solar energy and started putting panels on the White House. In the Mojave desert the solar energy collected there is 90% of the WORLD's solar intake. This means most of the world isn't using this inexpensive source.
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