The Downsides Of Nuclear Power

Submitted By Sophia-Tao
Words: 1203
Pages: 5

The Downsides of Nuclear Power

With the Sun obscured by a thick cloud of brown gas, you would think that the

land located below would be similar to a frozen tundra due to the lack of heat energy. In

actuality, this planet, which used to be known as Earth to an extinct race called

“humans,” is a barren wasteland with baking temperatures. If the Sun isn’t the Earth’s

heat source, then what is? The answer to that question is the radioactive substances

covering 99% of the surface of this spherical oven. These substances emit radiation,

which is the source of the enormous amount of heat energy.

At the first thought of the term, “nuclear power,” a rather daunting image of an

atomic bomb may appear in your thoughts. Nuclear power, however, is not exclusively

limited to bombs. It is defined as “electric or motive power generated by a nuclear

reactor” ( In fact, nuclear power accounts for approximately 20% of the

United States’ electricity source (EIA). Although some may support the use of nuclear

power as an electricity source, there are many consequences and risks that may occur

from doing so.

The main elements involved in nuclear power are nearly all radioactive isotopes

of caesium, strontium, plutonium, and uranium (Aljazeera). In order to create the

nuclear power, large amounts of energy are created from nuclear fission which occurs in

nuclear power plants. Nuclear fission occurs when a nucleus collides with another

particle and splits, releasing energy. A generator creates electricity when these large

amounts of energy boil water and create pressurized steam that powers the generator

(EHow). However, this steam becomes radioactive and is released into the environment

later on. Radioactivity, as we all know, can damage a human’s body if it has come into

contact with any radioactive particles. It also has the ability to cause cancer,

incapacitation, mutations, and other life-threatening diseases. This too, can affect

childbirth. The baby may also experience deformities, decreases in brain function,

disability, and even early death.

A risky factor which can cause nuclear power to go wrong is natural weather and

disasters. Since most nuclear waste is stored underground, an earthquake can cause the

substances to be released, therefore damaging the environment. Perhaps a tornado

could strike a nuclear power plant and end up blowing the radioactive substances to the

habitats of humans or animals. A natural occurrence involving water could also carry the

radioactive substances and spread them around, such as rain or flood. If the nuclear

power plant is located near a sea, a tsunami could wipe out the power plant, spreading

the radioactivity to a large radius of the area and carrying it into the ocean as it recedes,

causing harm to sea life and other land masses.

An example of a natural disaster turning the tables of nuclear power is the

largely known catastrophe that occurred in Fukushima, Japan. Following an earthquake

with a magnitude of 9.0, a tremendous tsunami was caused, which struck the nuclear

plant of the Tokyo Electric Power Company. As a result of this, their cooling systems

used to cool the nuclear reactors were shut down. Without the cooling systems, the

radioactive fuel melted through the reactors. Also, with the tsunami flooding the

nuclear power plant, the water picked up the radiation emitted by the radioactive waste

inside the nuclear cores and carried it to the citizens of Japan, the ocean, and even to

the west coast of the United States. A total of 20 nuclear cores were exposed, resulting

a lot of radiation which was spread. An abundant amount of Japanese citizens were

affected by the radiation, and the deaths of infants rose by a whopping 35%. Many

Japanese are opting to use natural electricity in place of