May 5, 2009

The Planet’s Suicide

One of the greatest challenges the world is currently facing is finding alternative sources of energy in order to replace non-renewable sources, which have already dramatically damaged the environment. Reactivating or increasing use of the nuclear plants may potentially give a solution to this problem. On the other hand, nuclear energy could have several effects, extremely harmful to human society and environment. Do we have the sufficient scientific investigation to prevent these dangerous consequences?

Even though nuclear power is considered a compact and efficient source of energy, and it is totally reliable and environmental friendly, if used correctly, the International Atomic Energy Agency, “the world’s center of cooperation in the nuclear field”, prevent the application of any project that involves use of nuclear plants, in order to prevent any accidental or intentional misuse of it and to protect the environment from the danger it might cause. History has shown that even when scientists were quite sure of the success, such projects resulted in catastrophic events.

The process in which nuclear energy is produced, involves nuclear reactions, in the level of atom. Thus, a possible accident is very unlikely to happen, but if it does, an enormous amount of energy goes to the environment around the plant, and this destroys any being in that area, and entire generations are exposed to the danger of radiation. The project not only wouldn’t serve as a solution to any environmental issue, but it would be a huge human mistake. We have done similar mistakes in the past and repeating them is completely senseless.

The widest scale nuclear disaster took place in Ukraine in 1986 when the unsanctioned power intensification of one reactor occurred followed by its destruction. Due to the nature of the nuclear power plan construction at Chernobyl, it is estimated that all radioactive noble gases contained in the reactor were released at the time of the initial event. A huge number of victims. The environment was destroyed forever. We cannot let it to happen again.

Many scientists see the reactivation of the nuclear reactors as the only safe choice for now, as the non-renewable natural resources are finishing. First, is it really safe? That’s what was always thought, but huge accidents did happen. Second, it is not true that it is the only choice. With some investments, wind power, solar energy or even geothermal energy could solve our problem.

Furthermore, the material used during nuclear reactions cannot be recycled. Therefore, it needs to be found an isolated area where all the nuclear waste is placed. In a way, this location will be sacrificed, because the material remains radioactive and it can destroy the environment and provoke serious illness to humans, even cancers. This is inevitable if we decide to use nuclear energy. In this context, we are trying to save the environment and reduce the global warming, by causing long-lasting pollution.

The most negative aspect of reactivating nuclear plants, is that they can be used as the most dangerous and destroyable weapon ever. Again, what happened in World War II is a good example that shows that if every country will have the potential to produce nuclear energy, then, it will certainly use it as a weapon of mass destruction in some special cases, whenever its interests will be violated. Apparently, all this will lead to the destruction of the planet. After giving to one country the technology, the supply and professionals, then no one can predict how that energy is going to be used. There’ll always be conflicts between countries. Imagine what will happen if these weapons would be in the terrorist organizations’ hands. The entire world would turn to dust in few days. Unfortunately, there’s still no proof that the International Atomic Energy Agency can prevent this to happen.

Use of nuclear power will certainly worsen the global economic situation. Even though the supply of uranium is not too expensive, the cost of one plant is extremely high. Because it is essential to prevent any possible incident, the latest technology should be applied, and consequently the cost would go higher and higher. In addition, the process of waste management would cost a lot, too, as we’re dealing with radioactive material. The overall cost, this way, will be few times higher than the fancy wind power plants, and it is incomparable with the cost solar panels.

  The level of the development of science and technology is so advanced that we can harm ourselves. One mistake can cause a disaster. If use of nuclear energy is risky, harmful, and expensive, why should we choose it to replace what we’re using now? Nuclear resources can offer a huge uncontrollable amount of energy. Human kind still doesn’t have the sufficient the power to handle it. The future is unclear, but currently we should forget this dangerous way of providing power and focus on other alternative ways.