Argument for use of Nuclear Energy
The use of nuclear energy has taken precedence in many countries in the world today. It entails the use of radioactive atoms such as uranium to generate electric energy and many other industrial applications. Nuclear energy utilization has however aroused a never ending debate among stakeholders concerning its safe use. While proponents of its use claim that power generation through nuclear energy is among the most cost effective,cleanest and with the least negative environmental impact, opponents argue that the negative impact of nuclear energy is more disastrous than any other and as such its use should be regulated or stopped altogether. This essay will argue that the use of nuclear energy is an appropriate approach to solving the global power shortage and conserving the environment.
Nuclear energy according to its opponents poses a risk to human existence. Currently nuclear weapons owned by the United States and Russia alone have the potential to wipe out all living organisms in the world. There is genuine fear that if a nuclear war was to be launched today, it would cause irreversible damage to the ecosystem. The problem is compounded further by the likelihood of terrorists acquiring the possession of nuclear weaponry. The danger posed by use of nuclear energy has already been manifested to the world. Accidents in nuclear power plants such as it occurred in USA in 1979 at the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor forced the displacement of thousands of surrounding inhabitants. Had the problem not been immediately put under control, more disastrous results would have been recorded. Perhaps the Russia’s Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster of 1986is one of the best indicators yet of the impact of a nuclear disaster to life existence. The exposure of nuclear radiation from the plant left tens of people dead with others suffering from radiation induced cancers todate(Portney, p 29). Of late, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster that occurred in Japan early 2011 serves as a reminder of the danger posed by nuclear energy to the earthThese disasters are however avoidable with good safety measures in place. Similarly the dangers posed by waste radiations from nuclear plants can be safely discarded by adopting appropriate waste disposal systems that ensure the wastes do not affect the ecosystem (Portney, p 30).
Argument for Use of Nuclear Energy
The use of nuclear energy is a milestone in an effort towards environmental sustainability. Nuclear energy processes are clean and eco-friendly. Unlike other industrial installations, the plants do not emit dangerous greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. These gases contribute immensely to global warming, a far more lethal phenomenon that threatens future life existence on planet earth. The nuclear energy plants occupy only a small space with no need to destroy the surroundings as is common with some other plants. Therefore, this results in conservation of the ecosystem for the welfare of other users. Nuclear energy processes have no known adverse effects on the land mass, water or air. With controlled processing mechanisms, the water released from such plants is absolutely safe for use by all living organisms. Furthermore, the energy from nuclear reactions is reliableas it is under no influence of weather or climatic changes. The cost effectiveness of nuclear energy is unparalleled since a ton of reactants can generate energy equivalent to that generated using millions of tonnes of petroleum oil or coal (Gupta, Para, 2).
Using this type of energy for peaceful reasons has registered great stridesand as such should be supported. Use of radioisotopes in medicine is today facilitating carrying out of advanced research and diagnostic breakthroughs. Today there is widespread use of radiotherapy in treatment of cancer as well as the use of the Sterile Insect Technique in pest control and irrigation. With such advancements in the health and agricultural sectors, food production and quality will be enhanced in addition to promotion of rapid growth in the industrial processing of foods and medicine for the benefit of all human kind (Gupta, Para, 3).
Regardless of the opposition to the use of nuclear energy, it is evident that its use is beneficial and could in fact be the energy source of choice in the coming centuries. The responsibility of putting nuclear energy to safe and beneficial use lies with the human beings. The continued upsurge of human population has left non renewable sources of energy diminishing at an alarming rate. Furthermore, there are the associated deleterious effects of other forms of energy to the environment. The ghost of global warming is staring a hapless planet and with continued destruction of the ecosystem, it is evident that it will destroy the planet sooner than expected.
The benefits accrued from use of nuclear energy by far surpass, the scanty shortcomings associated with it. Touching on important spheres of human life; food and medicine among others means man will be able to overcome the perennial challenges emanating from sickness, hunger and poverty. WORD COUNT 815 (excluding in text citations).