Gone are the days when the man was a helpless creature. Today he virtually rules the world. In the new millennium, he is dreaming of dwelling on the moon and visiting other planets. But the population explosion has outrun the supply of coal and oil.
After the core meltdown at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania and the Chernobyl disaster, the idea of nuclear power sent many people scrambling for cover. The two incidents, while completely unrelated sent the majority into a whirl of panic and without a real understanding of how nuclear energy works most backed away from the possibility of using nuclear power as an energy resource.
Unfortunately, as in the case when the masses are ignorant of the facts, valuable assets are often overlooked. However, in light of a better understanding of the benefits of nuclear power and how safe it really is, it is worth taking a closer look at the prospects of using it to shape our future.
Fossil Fuels The fact is energy is an essential part of our lives. We need it to fuel our homes and keep our infrastructure functioning at its peak potential. In reality, we have become so dependent on the use of power it is no longer a question of whether to use power or not but the type of power we should use.
Today, turbine engines produce the majority of the power used in the United States. When fuel is pushed through turbine engines it converts a mechanical form of energy into a source for electric power.
The gasses used to create the electrical power often come from fossil fuels; a natural source of fuel produced from the remains of living organisms. Coal or gas are the most common forms of fossil fuels in use today.
When the two nuclear accidents mentioned above became public knowledge, many reverted back to the idea of using fossil fuels, believing them to be safer. However, it seems that it was more a case of familiarity rather than safety that made people feel at ease.
The fact is, the actual numbers will tell a different story. The first was Three Mile Island in where radioactive materials ended up being dumped into the Susquehanna River, causing a direct impact on the lives of those in the region. The accident was labeled a 5 on a 7-point emergency system.
The second, the disaster at Chernobyl whose affects reached much further than Three Mile Island, and the third, which occurred in at the Fukushima power plant in Japan. Of the three, only Chernobyl caused major health hazards to the surrounding area, with increased reports of thyroid cancer in about people most of which were found to be curable.
While on the surface this looks like good reason to reject nuclear power, experts suggest we compare the results of nuclear accidents to the safety record of fossil fuels. The results can be quite staggering. The Fossil Fuel Record According to the Global CO2 Emissions Report 2The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the subsequent release of mercury and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere has caused far more harm than any of the three accidents reported in nuclear power plants over the same period of time.
In addition, the amount of radiation that the coal producing plants produce far exceeds the amount of radiation nuclear power plants produce. There is also the major health risk to the public to consider as well. Over the course of a single year, more than 4, coal miners in the US were injured with almost 24, dying a premature death from lung diseases black lung disease reported.
Those numbers for one year exceed those of the entire year history of nuclear power generators. So, it begs the question that we should all ask. Is nuclear power as dangerous as many believe?
The facts actually speak for themselves. While there have definitely been accidents and loss of life in both cases, there is no comparison with the numbers.
Even taking the worse case scenario into consideration, nuclear power plants risk to life is minimal compared to the use of fossil fuels.Nuclear energy is a comparatively new source of energy.
The first nuclear power plant was commissioned in June in Obninsk, Russia. Fossil fuels offer a .
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