Nuclear Energy Impact

Despite being a relatively new source of energy, nuclear energy has emerged as one of the most influential energy sources. Nuclear power was developed in the 1950s after several years of intensive research on atoms, uranium, and radioactivity (Ferguson, 22). Initially, nuclear energy was mainly applied in the military field through the production of destructive weapons such as bombs. However, as years progressed, it became an essential component of industrial production. Nuclear energy is derived from nuclear reactions. The energy is then used to produce heat that is directed to steam turbines to facilitate production of electricity in nuclear power stations. Electricity generated from nuclear fission is processed through nuclear fission, which …show more content…
For example, different waste streams, radioactive wastes, power plant emissions, accidents related to nuclear energy, natural disasters, and sustainability issues.
Waste Streams
Nuclear energy affects the environment through its three main waste streams. These are the wastes from spent nuclear fuels originating at the reactor site. This includes plutonium wastes and fission products (Harrison and Hester, 61). The second waste stream is that of waste rocks and tailings at uranium mining mills as well as during the reactor processes. Thirdly, the harmful wastes can also originate from releases of vast quantities of hazardous radioactive materials whenever an accident occurs (Sovacool,
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Nuclear fuels derived from plutonium-239 and uranium-235 contains numerous carcinogenic radionuclide isotopes. Some of these isotopes include iodine-131, strontium-90, and caesium-137 (Imura, 19). Furthermore, it also comprises of some transuranic elements and other isotopes from plutonium. Some of these long-lived radioactive materials have a profound effect on humans and the environment if left unprotected. They are supposed to be stored far from humans for a very long period before being disposed of. However, nuclear producers often dispose of these materials in repositories or engineered facilities located underground as an alternative method of getting rid of the radioactive wastes from the environment. While the alternative of storing used radioactive materials in geological facilities seems to be a safe and environmentally friendly approach, there are concerns about the future of such a move (Ferguson, 42). Many members of the general public express their concern of over the future of these disposals, with most of them expressing fears that they may explode at some point in the future to produce enormous environmental

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