Nuclear Warfare Essays, Book Reports, Term Papers

This essay Nuclear Warfare Essays, Book Reports, Term Papers has a total of 1263 words and 6 pages.

Nuclear Warfare Nuclear Power Problems The effects caused by a nuclear power accident, on the scale of the April 26, 1986 Chernobyl accident, must override any inclination to side with advocates for nuclear power. Surely we have all heard the expression “I’m only human”. If we are indeed only human, and consequently prone to error, we could never perfectly manage and contain an energy as potentially destructive as that of nuclear power, without the possibility of a nuclear accident. Furthermore, the wastes generated by nuclear power, when inadvertently released during a nuclear power accident, have been proven to cause malignant diseases and premature death to those who come into contact with them. Additionally, the vegetation threat we rely on for survival is severely affected when radioactive elements are released into the air and water supply during a nuclear accident. Most alarming, however, is the fact that the general public is vastly unaware of its governments’ use of nuclear waste in the development of nuclear weapon. Most of us can remember the bombing of Iwo Jima and the effects the bomb had on the lives of the millions of Japanese that lived within a twenty mile radius of the city. We can see what happened to the second generation: children born with severe informities such as sixteen fingers and three arms; children born with cancer; and children with mental and physical handicaps. The radiation of a bomb doesn’t always cause instant death, but it is a lingering experience. Japanese people, thought to be healthy, got cancer in later life, and had dis-formed children. Consequently, we must not be swayed by advocates urging us to further develop and expand nuclear power. We must, instead, examine the larger picture; the risks associated with this potentially devastating power. The potential for human error causing a nuclear accident can be ascertained by considering the causes and effects of accidents that have already occurred. In 1952, at Chalk River’s Nuclear Reactor, four control pads were unintentionally removed, causing a partial meltdown of the reactor’s core. In 1957, a fire at the Windscale Pile No. 1 plant, just north of Liverpool, England, resulted in the contamination of 200 square miles of countryside when it was covered with radiation. In 1976, the core of the Lubmin nuclear plant in Greifswald, East Germany nearly melted down when safety systems failed during a fire. In 1979, the ever so famous, Three Mile Island reactor in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania lost coolant in one of its two reactors and a partial meltdown occurred on March 28, 1979. “Large amounts of radioactive noble gases were released to the containment atmosphere. Some of these were released into the environment” (The Three). The resulting contamination led to a very expensive ten-year clean up plan. “The first re-entry of the building took place in July of 1980” (TIP 10). Still, nothing compares to the tragic accident at the Soviet’s Chernobyl power plant in 1986. “The accident which immediately killed three hundred and twenty one persons, caused about 130,000 cases of irradiation and led to the displacement of hundred of individuals” (Fragelada). The post Chernobyl brain syndrome arose because of the high amounts of radiation. “In the city of Gomel, Belarus, near the Chernobyl power plant, a survey revealed that out of fifteen hundreds of children, only twenty-four were in good health” (Chernobyl). The Belarus children keep eating the contaminated food. “The Chernobyl plant did not have the massive containment structure common to most nuclear power plants elsewhere in the world” (The Chernobyl Accident). The costs associated with nuclear power are of paramount concern. When compared to coal, gas, and oil in 1997, only coal was cheaper than nuclear power. It would appear to the general public, that nuclear power is a bargain deal. Few people, however, take into account the fact that bargain-deals often cost the consumer more in their long-term values. The costs resulting from nuclear accidents are seldom taken fully into account. First of all, the scientists, researchers, technicians, and workers who must assess the accidents a

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