Unclear about Nuclear

There have been many arguments about whether or not nuclear energy is a reliable source of energy to power cities and even states. When people hear about nuclear power plants, people think of Chernobyl and Fukushima and the disasters that happened at their nuclear power plants. We all know that at both those places there was a nuclear disaster at nuclear power plants which gave nuclear power a bad rap for being a wide source of energy. However, do most people know why the power plants failed and had such catastrophic problems?

With Chernobyl, the scientists wanted to test to see if the turbines could pump enough coolant in the reactors in case of power outage. They turned off all the safety systems to test this which was one of the biggest mistakes they could have made. Turned out that the turbines could not pump enough coolant into the reactor but before the scientists could turn everything back on to normal, there was a high energy spike in the reactor which caused the gigantic explosion which turned Chernobyl into a vast wasteland.

At Fukushima, there was an earthquake that caused a tsunami which caused the power at the reactor to shut off completely. Usually in those certain situations the back up power would kick in but at the plant they had their back up generators on ground level which happened to be where the water was from the tsunami. Most nuclear power plants should have their back up generators on the roof to avoid problems like the one at Fukushima.

What I am trying to say is, that Nuclear power may be dangerous but only in rare situations and it could possible be a better alternative to fossil fuels. Nuclear power is non-renewable but it gives off little pollution compared to burning fossil fuels. Nuclear waste, however, is very harmful to humans and the environment. It is very expensive to build but once it is done building its costs go down because it is easier to generate electricity from plants than it is from the other non-renewable resources. Nuclear power may have a bad reputation with the events at Chernobyl and Fukushima but they both could have been prevented if they took better safety precautions.

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One comment

  1. andrewwingfield · May 5, 2016

    Good summary of the pros and cons. As you say, the cost is a big con of nuclear. What if the US invested the cost of 3 nuclear power plants (~$25 billion) every year for 10 years into promoting research and development of renewable energy technologies? Might be a better way to spend the $.

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