Essay about Nuclear Energy -- The Fukushima Disaster

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Humans have long been faced with the challenge of finding a sustainable source of energy that will produce enough electricity to maintain the standard of living they have become accustomed to. Burning coal and other fossil fuels was the primary solution before nuclear energy was discovered. It was thought to be much better for the environment because usually there were not dangerous chemicals released into the atmosphere, but concerns have been raised about its health effects.
There are two types of nuclear power: fusion and fission. The sun is an example of fusion. This occurs when two atomic nuclei combine to make a nucleus of a heavier mass. Fusion energy is not yet an available resource on earth because it has not been possible to
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Nuclear power seems to be an effective power solution, but the issues come into play when fuel rods are unable to cool or when the nuclear power is not contained. When mishaps occur in nuclear power plants, such as the event at a Russian nuclear power plant in Russia at Chernobyl in 1986 and the nuclear meltdown that occurred in Fukushima, Japan, concerns are raised about the effect they will have on people and the environment.
In March of 2011, a tsunami off the coast of Japan interrupted the power supply to the Fukushima power plant. The nuclear plant was unprepared for such an event, which caused the power to turn off and left radioactive fuel rods unable to cool (Dvorak & Obe, 2011). Without electricity, water could not circulate through the reactor vessels and the reaction became so overheated that the plant experienced a meltdown. Dangerous radionuclides were released into the air, which settled into the soil and the water, and mass hysteria spread. The population of Japan experienced great anxiety and fear from the threat cancer or relocation from their homes. Controversy arose among scientists of different countries about how dangerous the levels of radiation were and what studies should be conducted. Although the nuclear disaster occurred locally in Fukushima, Japan, it had global effects as the radiation reached other parts of the world. The nuclear disaster of Fukushima caused a social disruption that was even greater than its health

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