Nuclear safety is very important for many reasons. One being radiation poisoning, which is a risk that Chernobyl showed in 1986, when the reactor failed. Chernobyl was a nuclear power plat which blew one of its reactors on April 26, 1986. The explosion blew radioactive particles all over the Ukraine and the surrounding countries. “Nuclear energy is energy that is produced when atom change.” (Stoyles, Pennie P.6) This same process can be used for building something up or tearing things apart.
Is this technology risky? Yes it is, but the advantages are just too great. It allows a far cleaner and safer alternative to conventional fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas. The idea of nuclear technology is like most things in life you must decide if you are okay with it or against it before you say whether it is good or bad. Especially on a topic such as this one personal bias has a large part to do with your choice on the discussion of nuclear fuel.
The increasing energy needs of the world will constantly grow as the population does. Scientists predict there will be approximately “9 billion people by the year 2050.” Making electricity cuases greenhouse gasses. This traps heat changing the climate. One benefit to nuclear power is that it does not produce greenhouse gasses.
A different way of looking at the cost we are running out of “oil and gas.” (MCLeish, Ewan P. 38)But we are still using them up quickly. Coal is still strong but gas and oil will be gone one day. The costs are continually changing. Is the cost fact of fiction? (BNF) British Nuclear Fuels estimate the cost is “4-6 cents per Kilowatt” (MCLeish, Ewan) “offshore wind is 6-8 cents per kilowatt,” “7 cents for coal or gas.” However probably “more like 16 cents for nuclear.” (MCLeish, Ewan P.36) The price backing 2003 as estimated by (MIT) was 60% higher than now. This shows that as time goes by we know more thus the cost comes down.
Is there a quicker, safer, and cheaper way of getting radioactive elements out of the ground. A new method being used in America and Australia is solution mining. This method uses alkaline or acidic water being pumped into the rock. This allows them to extract the element with out disturbing the land very much. Predominately nuclear mining companies will mine Uranium. “Uranium isn’t especially rare about 500 times as abundant as gold.” (MCLeish, Ewan P.16-17) It is everywhere but only a few places in the world have enough in one place to mine for it. Open it and sub surface mining are the two ways of mining for Uranium. Unfortunately both of these are very hazardous work conditions.
People are afraid of Nuclear energy for many reasons. Include Terrorists flying planes into power stations, but people still argue that planes wouldn’t cause the reactor to blow. Nuclear weapons are nothing new. However, few countries have the ability to produce them about 8 countries have the technology. Still others claim to have them. To give perspective in a reactor the U235 must be enriched to 3-5% for the reactor to produce any energy. In a nuke though the Uranium must be enriched to 90% which is far higher than any terrorist could ever do without million USD equipment. The countries that currently are known to have Nukes “United States, Russia, France, Israel, Pakistan, and China.” (MCLeish, Ewan P.28)
Cons the most talked about issue with Nuclear power is the safety of it. “Safety is the main concern” (Stoyles, Pennie P.7) of most people. “Accidents are real with nuclear power” (Stoyles, Pennie P.7) people have been hurt. Issues with nuclear power. “Human error or faulty equipment could cause accidents like Chernobyl in 1986.” (Stoyles, Pennie P.7) Most of the population against Nuclear energy say that “Radioactive wastes made by nuclear reactors can not be moved.” (Stoyles, Pennie P.7) However, there are many ways to move waste relatively safely.
Finally those who oppose this energy say that the “radioactive wastes could be used by terrorists.” (Stoyles, Pennie P.7) One more thing is that no one wants to have a ship full of nuclear waste in their waters. The countries say that it is to high risk if the ship gets damaged not to mention the green world groups. People frear if the waste is leaked the fish industry would be ruined. Plus no one would go to the beach. Because they are afraid of all the radiation.
Nuclear energy produces radioactive waste, which can be harmful to the environment and people. The byproduct of the fission of Uranium or plutonium atoms can last anywhere from “30 seconds to 24,360 years.” (Stoyles, Pennie P.25) The waste if it is not disposed of properly, can cause serious problems in the environment. Nuclear waste can be used in many forums of tech.
Disposing of radioactive waste is essential. Some scientists estimate it will take 1,000 years for the waste to be safe. The waste ore also needs to be kept in a safe and cooled environment, otherwise it will over heat. Two main ways of disposing of waste are mixing it with glass or synroc. Both prevent it from harming the environment but synroc is heat resistant. Moving the radioactive waste is necessary for safety. You have to get them some where to dispose of them or to the recycling centers. The rods from a reactor must be left in a tank of water at least 10feet deep for three years. This allows the radiation to subside and the rods to cool down.
The main problem with radioactive byproduct is where does it all go? 282,000 tons are currently waiting in cooling cells waiting for disposal. By 2020 (IAEA) estimates 482,000 tons of fuel will need to be disposed of. Also where would we store it all, so that terrorists would be unable to get to it. The safe way to dispose of Nuclear material. You must dispose of radioactive waste, otherwise people would get sick. Different levels of radiation between high and low level rad. The reason for disposing of radioactive things is Radioactive decay. This process causes an element to break down releasing Protons or neutrons depending on how many an element has.
Dealing with Used fuel, you can reuse fuel twice. However first it must be removed from the reactor then moved to cooling cells. The time that the rods sit in the cooling cells varies between a couple of months to a couple of years. Depending on the amount of heat and radiation they are emitting. The more dangerous waste will be returned to normal in about 50-100 years.
However “some people would consider that a long time.” (MCLeish, Ewan P. 25) Many would agree that future generations are the focal point of nuclear disposal. Burying waste is one of the more favored methods of disposing of waste. However they need a large, deep, and dry place to store the waste. Scientists in Sweden are testing areas around the country. They buried full sized barrels to test if this solution was viable.
Most People fear Nuclear energy because it can not be seen or fully understood. But the consequences of an accident or nuclear war can certainly be felt. Accidents can happen even though uncommon these incidents are what scare most people. Two accidents the first in Japan where a reactor melted down spreading into the sea, and second Chernobyl which has been covered briefly already.
Dirty Bombs are the fear of many people. These bombs are different in a few ways to normal nukes. The Uranium is not fully enriched, second they used normal explosives instead of using fission like a normal Nuke, and finally the bomb throws radioactive waste.
Seems like a bad thing but think about how many lives have been saved with this technology. The first piece of machinery that I would like to discuss is the Positron Emission Tomography or (PET) scan. This scan is an imaging test that helps reveal how your tissues and organs are functioning. However, these are not the only uses for this type of scan, it has been known to help with depression, drug treatment, Parkinson disease, and many others. As I have said earlier this type of nuclear medicine has the ability to take pictures of the body.
Unlike the PET scan the X-ray and CT scans only take images of solid parts of the body. The Nuclear Medicine can observe flesh of a body as well as solids. Another use is what are known as tracers which is a small amount of radioactive die. Allowing them to see more clearly certain problems in a patient. “It can be used to show improvement or deterioration of a known abnormality after any treatment you might have had.”
Nuclear reactions in atoms
Future of reactors
Thorium The element known as thorium is being tested with to see if it is comparable to Uranium or Plutoium. The Thorium reactors are not as dangerous as the Uranium reactors since all of the radioactivity is contained in the reactor itself. Also these reactors will be greener because the fuel is contained, and Thorium is so efficient that they wont need to replace the fuel rods as much. MSR or Molten Salt Reactors are far safer than Uranium reactors or WPR’s.
First Thorium is already melted. This eliminates a meltdown from happening. MSRP’s work by circulating molten crystallized Thorium. The heated Thorium by means of nuclear reactions is moved underwater. Heating it up evaporating it into steam them moving back. Many designs for the Thorium reactors. However the most common is the Molten-salt reactor project. MSRP’s were designed and have been improved since 1957-1976.
Thorium is going to be put in the new closed cycled reactors, or in the LFTNR Liquid Floride Thorium Nuclear Reactors. As stated earlier a there are a few problems with Thorium. However, it is a far safer and greener source of energy than conventional fossil fuels. To further emphasis this point it takes “3.5 million tons of coal” (Christensen, Nicholas Thorium Reactors.) to generate the same amount of energy. Thorium reactors are super efficient and can consume all or almost all of it’s fuel. The advantages of Thorium over Uranium is that Thorium does not require external forces for fission. Making it much safer than traditional Uranium.
Thorium also has a “much higher energy density according to Dr. Carlo Rubbia.” (Christensen, Nicholas Thorium Reactors) Many modern Uranium reactors could use Thorium with minor or no alteration to their design.
Energy is needed for everything in life. Electricity is a type of energy. We use this for the majority of our daily life, humans must produce electricity for daily life we do this by burning fossil fuels.
Different levels of radiation are created by different materials. The higher the level the higher the danger. Level versus half life, the higher the level the lower the half life because the element is decaying rapidly.