Controversy of Nuclear Power


Nuclear power represents our future since nuclear power is environmentally friendly. No matter how many problems nuclear power creates for the world, fact remains that it is the ultimate source of power and is our future. The fossil fuels such as coal and oil, which are currently used for generating power, cause immense air pollution. The purpose of this essay is to underline the importance of developing nuclear power while managing its side effects and keeping the environment safe. Moreover, the safety of using nuclear energy for generating energy and the future for nuclear energy is discussed in the essay as well.


Nuclear power represents our future since nuclear power is environmentally friendly. Major power plants consist of several blocks, each generating their independent electric power. The world currently has 210 nuclear power plants with 442 reactor blocks, and this covers about 13% of the global electricity demand (CERI 1). Recently, after the Tsunami related nuclear mishap in Japan, a lot of questions have been raised about development of nuclear power and whether it is justified to take such great risks and manage so many environmental hazards to create Nuclear power or not. A nuclear power plant (NPP) is a thermal power plant for generating electric power from nuclear energy by controlled nuclear fission (Moltz, Vladimir and Adam 32).

Physical basis is the energy release in the fission of heavy atomic nuclei. This energy is used mainly as kinetic energy of fission products. By the deceleration in the surrounding material heat is created, and the steam is generated. The nuclear power plant Fukushima Daiichi was a particularly powerful nuclear power plant in Japan. It was started in 1971 and ran till 11 March 2011, when nuclear accidents occurred. The series of earthquake related accidents in March 2011 damaged the blocks 1-4 completely, so they were abandoned. The Japanese government plans to completely shut down the power plant. After the accident in March 2011 various design deficiencies of the plant were pointed out by the engineers, seismologists and regulators.

Nuclear Power Is Environment Friendly

Nuclear power is the most debated topic in USA today and scientists are researching on the advantages of using Nuclear power. The benefits of Nuclear power cannot be ignored. If the Nuclear power is compared to the destructive and depleting sources of coal or oil, there are several advantages of it and Nuclear power has very low environmental impact (World Nuclear Association 8). The emission of CO2 is zero in the process of producing Nuclear Energy. CO2 is the biggest source of pollution and it cannot be compared with any other sources of pollution. As Nuclear Energy is getting used widely around the world, as a result the economy is also improving.

Investors are investing their money in such companies who are Uranium producers to make their profit higher. As the use Nuclear energy is increasing day by day, US government has set no guidelines. The work function of Nuclear power stations is more or less same as fossil fuel burning stations. The only difference is that a chain reaction is used in Nuclear reactor that helps to make the heat. The source of energy used by the nuclear reactors is Uranium rods and nuclear fission generates heat in it (Diehl and James 72). When the uranium atoms are broken into half quite roughly pieces then heat energy is released.

After this process water is sprayed over the reactor and it absorbs the heat and the water turns into stream. Generators and turbines are used in modern nuclear power stations (Friedensen 398). Nuclear energy is the perfect solution of global warming as main reason for global warming is the increase of greenhouse gases like CO2. The average lifetime of greenhouse gases are around 100 to 200 years (Wilson 1117). So, the nuclear energy is quite beneficial for stopping global warming totally.

Dealing with Nuclear Waste Safely

There are different types of radioactive wastes. Each of these types requires different methods of nuclear waste management. Nuclear waste is namely categorized in three levels: low level, medium level and finally high level, depending on the concentration of radioactivity. For managing the radioactive wastes, there are once again three primary methods which are deployed: dilute and disperse, concentrate and contain, and delay and decay.

In operation, resulting fission products (plutonium, americium, neptunium, etc.) must be kept away from the biosphere until they disintegrate (Bennett 904). The time taken for this depends on the isotope. According to the research conducted by (Long 1), the fission product is an iodine isotope with a half-life of 15.7 million years. Iodine and its isotopes is an essential trace element which is actively absorbed by the human body.The risk is primarily in a release during the period of storage.

Why Nuclear Power Is Worth The Effort To Deal With Nuclear Waste?

Prior to the disposal of the spent fuel, rods are chemically dissolved and separated into its components. With this conditioning, the reprocessing plants can control the operation and can prevent accidents and mistakes that lead to radioactive material entering the environment. Spent nuclear fuel from German nuclear power plants in the reprocessing plant at La Hague on the French Channel coast are processed for storage and are then brought back to Germany for disposal. The transport takes place by using Castor containers. Since 2005, shipments of spent nuclear fuel from German nuclear power plants is banned in Germany by the Atomic Energy Act, direct disposal is therefore the only option.

But, in spite of all these issues, nuclear power is the future (World Nuclear Association 4). The other resources for electricity and other forms of power will soon be exhausted, and, unless nuclear power is used properly, the conditions are going to be severe. Thus, proper care should be taken to deal with nuclear waste and nuclear power should be developed. Nuclear power can provide electricity to the entire world for a huge amount of time and can also prove to be hugely beneficial for a huge variety of other purposes. Thus, despite the fact that it has a few environmental issues, we should prepare for the future and should support the development of nuclear power.


Many people claim that there is lack of new nuclear facilities around the world and that’s why people cannot get Nuclear energy as the best alternative energy source. But, the truth is that scientists are working hard to get the best sources of nuclear energy to reduce global warming and other harmful issues. When we compare the advantages and future prospects of nuclear power, the environmental issues and other problems seem quite negligible.

We should go the extra mile to ensure protection for the ozone layer and environment while developing nuclear power. Countries like USA, Japan and India are making new Nuclear power plants and they are showing their potential to build a new world and the rest of the world is also getting influenced by it.

Works Cited

Bennett, Gray, Hemler Richard, and Schock Alfred. “Space Nuclear Power, An Overview.” Journal of Propulsion and Power 12(1996):901-910. Print.

CERI. Levelised Unit Electricity Cost Comparison of Alternative Technologies for Baseload Generation in Ontario. 2004. Web.

Diehl, Sarah and James Clay. Nuclear Weapons and Nonproliferation. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2002. Print.

Friedensen, Victoria. “Space Nuclear Power: Technology, Policy, and Risk Considerations in Human Missions to Mars.” Acta Astronautica, 42(1998) :395- 409. Print.

Long, Michael. Half Life: The Lethal Legacy of America’s Nuclear Waste: National Geographic. 2002. Web.

Moltz, James, Vladimir Orlov, and Adam Stulberg. Preventing Nuclear Meltdown: Managing Decentralization of Russia’s Nuclear Complex. Williston: Ashgate, 2004. Print.

Wilson, Richard. “The future of nuclear power”. Environmental Science and Technology 26(1992): 1116-1120. Print.

World Nuclear Association. The Global Nuclear Fuel Market: Supply and Demand 2005- 2030. 2005. Web.

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