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Plan – Is Nuclear Power the Answer for the Future


  1. write out question and explain what is meant by it - √
  2. explain a bit of the history of when the idea of using nuclear power started and was developed (explain what is meant by the term ‘sustainable’) -

Main Core

  1. write out current ‘pros and cons’ of nuclear power. - √
  2. explain in detail each positive point -
  3. explain in detail every negative point -
  4. suggest alternatives and why they would/wouldn’t be a good solution - √


  1. write out what some people think and why -
  2. give opposing views -
  3. write out my view -
  4. explain the reasoning behind my view -
  5. give overall statement after finishing the case study and answer the question fully -


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Is Nuclear Power The Answer For The Future?

In recent years, the Earth has seen changes in its climate.  The causes for this have been blamed on human behaviour as opposed to changes that have occurred naturally (http://www.bbc.co.uk/climate/evidence/).  So the question ‘Is Nuclear Power the Answer for the Future?’ refers to the problem of climate change, and suggests that Nuclear Power could be the answer to this problem.  This is because scientists claim the emission of greenhouse gases, of which CO2 is the principal constituent, are the cause of climate change.  Nowadays, our main source of energy comes from burning fossil fuels, which generate vast amounts of CO2.

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  • Nuclear Power is thought to be dangerous but recently safety has been greatly improved in the power plants and is set to get even more safe as time progresses and the technology accordingly evolves.
  • There have been, and will continue to be, considerable developments in the technology making it safer and more efficient.


  • Nuclear Power produces waste which, at this moment in time, has no means of safe disposal.
  • Nuclear Power Stations produce radiation which if not carefully controlled represents a health risk
  • To build a Nuclear Power Station would require a large input of CO2 emitting engineering work.
  • There are fears that terrorists may be able to launch attacks against Nuclear Power stations with potentially devastating human consequences.  Also, illicit trade in radioactive reactor products for nuclear or ‘dirty’ bombs could be a major threat to world stability.
  • Meltdowns have occurred previously, e.g. Chernobyl, in which fission has run rampantly out of control with a disastrous aftermath.


  First and foremost, nuclear power would address the problem of fuelling Britain. Currently the majority of Britain is being powered by fossil fuels which are causing global problems. Also fossil fuels are not sustainable and thus won’t last us much longer. Some scientists predict that at current rates we can only continue using fossil fuels for about 86 years. If we managed to make nuclear power our main energy source, we would certainly reduce the amount of CO2 we produce. This is a very positive point for nuclear power and remains a strong argument in the debate about our power difficulties.

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Now I have looked at each side of the ‘nuclear power debate’ I understand why the matter is so complex, and such a hard question to answer. I feel that Nuclear Power could be the ‘fuel of the future’ but we would have to go about it very carefully. Nuclear power stations would have to be carefully monitored regularly, especially the waste products so they don’t get into the wrong hands. Also, the waste would have to be safely retained in a way which doesn’t harm the environment until we find a way to dispose of it safely. Finally, I feel that we should not only look to using nuclear power as our only form of power, but should maximize our use of renewable energy since we know that is our greenest energy option.  I am aware that renewable sources don’t produce enough power to fuel Britain but they could certainly contribute, and all the energy we get from renewable sources, rather than nuclear power, would be helping our environment as much as possible.


Betts, K.S. (2007).   Technology solutions: Reshaping nuclear fuel.  Environmental Science and Technology, 41 (3), 676 -677.

Lovelock, J (2007). Go nuclear, save the planet. The Sunday Times News Review, February 18. (pg. 5)

Web Links:








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