Posted by: Rodrigo Fonseca | June 9, 2007

Report on Nuclear Power

Nuclear Power Plant in Cattenom, France.

When the first notion of environmental safety was made public, business took a dim view of it. Only after the establishment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, did countries and companies start taking actions towards a safer planet. Much has been discussed so far regarding environmental solutions and many have come up with several suggestions; however, the idea of a massive nuclear policy is still inacceptable.

It is true that nuclear power plants produce the so called cleaner energy, for they emit no greenhouse gases and therefore do not contribute to the Greenhouse Effect. However, one must not forget that nuclear power produces something much worse: the radioactive waste. The big problem with it is that, besides causing mutations and deaths, it lasts for too long – usually taking nature 500.000 years to recycle the radioactive matter.

One could argue, however, that very seldomly do nuclear disasters happen and that nuclear power plants control the safest and most advanced technology ever conceived. Nevertheless, we have already witnessed what happened in Chernobyl, where every form of life within a range of 125 kilometers of the core of the explosion was killed, as the radioactive waste spread. Once exposed to radioactive waste, one is fated to cancer and eventually death, besides further contaminating those around them. As the risk of a nuclear disaster is still unbearable, building more nuclear power plants is most unwise.

It is wrong to suggest that nuclear activity clearly is the best way of producing energy.There are several other ways of acquiring energy without posing any threat to life. Solar energy, for instance, produces almost the very same amount of energy and costs much less. So does wind energy and wave energy. One should also mention the energy cells, being produced in Japan and Indonesia. All these and much others produce a sustainable amount of energy and pose no threat to life nor nature.

In fact, solar energy is so profitable, that it has been taken up in many households in California and Virginia. According to the BOOM company, 300.000 households in the USA already have solar power panels, each of which produces no less than 170,000 trillion watts per year. This accounts for an economy of 600.000 dollars and for the non-emission of 1,5 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere – which marks a breakthrough in environmental solutions. With these given results, it is most likely that the Sun will be our biggest source of energy in the foreseenable future.

Solar Energy StationTo a certain limited extent, there is some truth in the proposition regarding nuclear power plants. However, we should not limit ourselves to nuclear-produced energy and simply close our eyes to other sources of energy. The more we invest in production of safer and cleaner energy, such as solar energy and energy cells, the faster we will solve the current environment problems. And the sooner we start, the more chances of succeding.

Rodrigo Machado Fonseca

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