Nuclear Energy: Pros And Cons?
Deerfield Beach High School
Physics I H
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Introduction It all started in the 1940’s, when two atomic bombs, “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” were dropped onto innocent Japanese civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After the aftermath of the catastrophic attacks, nuclear energy was being rebranded …show more content…
While traditional sources of energy like, wind or solar, depend on the wind or sun to create electricity, nuclear energy can still be produced even in the roughest of weather. Power plants work 24/7 and only go down for maintenance purposes only. Plus, nuclear power stations are much more compact compared to other forms of energy. Power plants are normally only the size of a large football stadium, while solar cells and wind turbines both need tremendous amounts of land to function at the same caliber. Another benefit of nuclear energy is its low waste. A single gram of uranium provides as much energy as a ton of coal or oil. Respectively, nuclear waste is around a million time less than the waste from fossil fuels. In Sweden and the United States, the nuclear waste is just stored somewhere safe, but the rest of the world reuses the waste to filter out the 3% of radioactive remains and place them in glass for permanent and safe storage. The left over 97%, which is mostly plutonium and uranium, is recycled into fuel to create more energy. The amount of waste is extremely small; if you took the all the waste the average French family uses over a lifetime, it would be the size of a golf ball. Additionally, the waste is deposited in deep geological storage sites; it will never be released into the biosphere, so its effect on the environment is miniscule. While in storage, nuclear …show more content…
The waste generated by nuclear reactors needs to be kept some where safe, because they are exceptionally dangerous and can ooze radiation if not stored appropriately. Nuclear waste has radioisotopes with abnormally long half-lives, meaning they will take anywhere from ten to a hundred years to fully decay. These radioactive chemicals can contaminate the sand or water they are buried underneath and can lead to dangerous complications, like cancer, premature aging, or even death. We all remember the chaos caused by the nuclear bombs dropped onto Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Even 5 decades after the catastrophe, children are still born with birth defects, like extra limbs or mutated body parts, and we still don’t have a remedy for