Nuclear accidents are sort of like plane crashes in our cultural mentality. Planes are by and large one of the safest ways to travel, yet plane crashes can hit the news for days at a time. I am not saying plane crashes aren't tragic, they are; but so is dying in a car crash — an event that happens much more often. In all of these "disasters" some relatively dumb mistakes and painful oversights were made.
Such as waiting almost 18 hours to flood Fukushima Daiichi with sea water to cool the reactor. The potential environmental consequences seem fairly large with Chernobyl, though it is hotly debated whether this is solely the result of radiation. If anything, the Three Mile Island meltdown should make us all feel better about reactor safety in general.
Big meltdown, no one died. There is an excellent book that compares the relative environmental and health risks of nuclear reactors with other industries — Terrestrial Energy by William Tucker, who argues that more deaths are caused by our traditional power plants than by nuclear power.
Despite the downsides, the benefits of nuclear power should not be overlooked. It is not oil. Nuclear fuel does not produce CO 2. Nuclear plants are relatively accident-free.
There is plenty of radioactive material around currently. Nuclear fuel itself is non-renewable but breeder reactors produce more fuel than they use. The few cons there are, like storage and safety issues, are actually why governments need to fund nuclear energy research. Research monies for making safer reactors and better containment would be nice for a start, but government money needs to be found for "blue skies" nuclear research too. Blue-skies funding is what led scientists to find a way to split the atom in the first place. Now it is time to figure out how to safely get rid of radioactive waste.
Now is the time to put some serious funding into nuclear energy research, because in 10 years we may not be able to turn the lights on. Sylvia McLain runs a research lab in Oxford. She is GirlInterruptin on Twitter. Topics Energy research Occam's corner. Nuclear power Oil Fossil fuels blogposts. Reuse this content. Order by newest oldest recommendations. Show 25 25 50 All.
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Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. Loading comments… Trouble loading? The running of the plant can also be not contingent of weather or foreign suppliers, which makes it more stable than many other types of energy.
Yes please? No thanks? For and against nuclear power | The Independent
While nuclear energy does have some emissions, the plant itself does not give off greenhouse gasses. Studies have shown that what life-cycle emissions that the plants do give off are on par with renewable energy sources such as for instance wind power. This not enough greenhouse gases can be extremely attractive to some consumers. One of the reasons that nuclear energy falls under fire so write a college paper services frequently is due to the many disadvantages it brings.
This means that special precautions must be taken throughout the mining, transporting and storing of the uranium, along with the storing of every waste product to stop it from giving off harmful quantities of radiation. Nuclear fission chambers are cooled by water, both in the boiling water reactors BWRs and pressurized water reactors PWRs.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear power
In PWRs, cold water enters through primary pipes additionally the secondary pipes remove the warm water away, so that the coolant is not in touch with the reactor. The water can get contaminated and is transported to the rest of system in BWRs, water runs through the reactor core, so if there is any leakage of fuel.
Used nuclear rods are immersed in water in the spent fuel pool, to cool them before they could be transported for disposal. Radio-active water can leak out of doors in the pool once the seals that keep the doors airtight malfunction. Other pollutants released by nuclear plants are heavy metals and toxic pollutants that harm plant and animal life in aquatic bodies. Water is released into the atmosphere after being cooled but is still warm and damages the ecosystem for the sinks it flows into.
As soon as the uranium has finished splitting, the resulting radioactive byproducts need to be removed. While recycling efforts of this waste product have been undertaken in the last few years, the storage associated with the by-product could lead to contamination through leaks or containment failures.
Pros and cons of nuclear power
Nuclear reactors are designed with several safety systems built to support the radiation given off in the fission process. When these safety systems are properly maintained and installed, they function adequately. When they are not maintained, have structural flaws or were improperly installed, a nuclear reactor could release harmful amounts of radiation to the environment throughout the procedure of regular use.
If a containment field were to rupture suddenly, the resulting leak of radiation could be catastrophic. There has been several nuclear reactors that have failed and been shutdown which are still in existence.