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Nuclear Power of the future

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Introduction

Is Nuclear Power the future energy source? Medora Choi 11AM Chinese International School Yr 11 MYP Science What are the benefits and limitations of Nuclear Technology? Mr. T. Fryer Medora Choi 11AM 27th February, 2009 Is Nuclear Power the Possible Future Energy Source? When the term "nuclear power" crosses your mind, what is the instant thought in your mind? Is it Homer Simpson, half-asleep at the control panel of his town's nuclear reactor? Is it a supermarket tabloid photo showing a baby born with three heads because its mother lived next to a nuclear power plant? (Giacobello 5) In the world we are living now, nuclear power seem to make people fear the most our of all the other energy sources. The reason why they fear the nuclear power is because the mountain of histories it has made. At the end of World War II, nuclear weapons were used when the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan were bombed by the United States. And the nuclear reactor of the former Soviet Union's Chernobyl exploded in 1896 in the Ukraine. (Giacobello 6) Therefore, Nuclear power not only is a tool that can be used beneficially, it can also be used for the destruction of humanity, let's explore the positive and negative ways it has been used already, the discoveries being made today, and most importantly, this resource's potential for our future. ...read more.

Middle

(Giacobello 42) Properly maintained nuclear reactors give off only small amounts of emissions. Some say the small increase in radiation they emit is harmful, but they're not yet to be proven. As mentioned earlier, the prices of oil and coal and other fossil fuels are rising as the resources are decreasing and sooner or later, it will run out. However, we have a lot of uranium and it is count as an abundant source of energy. The most beneficial fact is that uranium can be reprocessed, hence saving the environment as it produces less waste. The uranium in old nuclear weapons can be used to generate power. (Giacobello 43) These are important ideas to consider when thinking about our future. Back in the past, nuclear power was not expensive at all, in fact, it was cheap. Today, however, to generate nuclear power costs a lot and forced the price to rise tremendously. To ensure safety, there are new types of safety equipment which needs to be installed and this had added price to the nuclear power, not to mention there are other expenses to store the nuclear wastes as well. A 1986 study of seventy-five U.S. reactors compared their original estimated construction costs with their final costs. The study found that the original estimation has been $45 billion. The final costs totaled $145 billion! ...read more.

Conclusion

However, a suitable place has not been found yet for that hole. Furthermore, if we do act this action out, there is a risk. How sure can we be that the storage facility we choose will not be broken open by an earthquake or contaminate the water supply in the area? Some people favor the idea of shooting the waste products into outer space in the future, calling it "extraterrestrial disposal". (Giacobello 53)The appeal of this idea is that it would send the potentially harmful waste as far away from earth as possible. It would be gone for good, and we would never have to deal with it again. But it is highly impractical today, research, development and completion are just too expensive. There would also be many risks, including the danger of a rocket that's holding nuclear waste malfunctioning while still in our atmosphere. Hence, this method is not likely to be explored in the near future. Nuclear power has travelled a rocky journey through its destruction in the history and the production in the present. Public opinion still impacts heavily against it. As our society and population is growing rapidly and our resources decreasing, we will avoid it anymore instead we must face our fears. If we can put the past behind us, we will open possibilities for the future. Let us hope that we can come to a decision before we reach a crisis situation. As an Indian physicist says, the Dr. Homi Bhabha, "No energy is more expensive than no energy. ...read more.

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