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Nuclear power plant

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environment
Wordcount: 1886 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Nuclear Power

Energy is a beneficial thing that used for human’s activity. One of the energy is electricity. The energy can be obtained from coal. However as daily uses of coal, the amount of coal that available on the earth will be decreased and results in no existing coal. Therefore, it is needed to find alternative energy sources to create the energy with no limit of uses. There are some alternative energy sources such as nuclear power, hydropower, wind power, solar power, geothermal energy, tidal power, biomass energy and other alternative energy. There is an alternative energy source that obtained from separating nuclear fission or makes the combination of nuclear fission named as nuclear power. Some countries are using nuclear power plant for generating electricity for them. However, there are several reasons of nuclear energy should be abolished in Indonesia.

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First of all, in nuclear power productivity, there will be nuclear waste that is harmful. This nuclear waste is very dangerous. The most harmful waste is gamma rays. When our body get in touch with the radiation, it causes tumors and affects in damaging reproductive organs. After around 18 months inside of reactor, the uranium rods must to be changed. The replacement of changing the old rods with new rods takes approximately 2 months. Those old uranium rods are placed in container that located in big water tank which as big as swimming pool. The problem is the water tanks are full of old rods and need another big storage place for them. There are various ideas of putting away those old rods. However, there are no final ideas that decided for this nuclear waste. If the waste is buried underground, it will take million years to decay.

In addition, building the nuclear power plant is very risky. Even the security standard is maximizing, but it can’t avoid the accident. This accident will affect to both human and environment. The more nuclear power plant building, the higher probability of big failure disaster in the world. There is an example of nuclear power plant accident. According to news, in October 1957, the core of a plutonium producing reactor was damaged by fire at Britain Windscale nuclear complex. Then the clouds of radioactivity went into the atmosphere. There is a report that the leakages of radiation have made a lot of victims in vinicity of Liverpool. Those victims were dead because of the cancer death caused by that radiation. Moreover, there is another case of this nuclear power plant and this is the worst nuclear accident. In 26th April 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded and gets damaged by fire. Then the radiation was released in wide area of Europe countries. The victims are thirty one death people because of the explosion. Hundreds of thousands of people were moved to different area and few of them are suffered of the effect of nuclear radiation. A single radiation of around 1 gray can cause radiation sickness. The acute effects caused by nuclear radiation are nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and hemorrhage. When people near that nuclear radiation location, they may die in few hours or days. Those acute effects are depending on the level of exposure. Uranium mining is also very harmful for health. Tailing from uranium mining is the largest radioactive waste source that damages people’s health. Indonesia is famous for its wealth of marine and fertile soil. If this nuclear power plant was built in Indonesia, it requires a big land for it as the standard safety quality. When there is error in the productivity, the radioactive material will go down into the sea and pollutes the water. If the water is contaminated, people those consume either water or sea animal will be dead.

Furthermore, nuclear waste that comes from nuclear power plant can be used for terrorist attacks. This terrorist act could make huge effects for the whole world. Terrorist may use the radiological destructive bomb. When this bomb explodes, it will release the deadly radioactive particles to the surrounding environment. In United States, there are many radioactive wastes that located at more than 70 nuclear power sites in 31 different states. Dr. Bruce G. Blair (2001) tells that there is dirty bomb contains of deadly mix of dynamite and one of highly radioactive from nuclear fission named as Cesium 137. This tells that instead of building nuclear power plant, some terrorist may get those wastes for creating a deadly radioactive bomb that is very harmful to whole world. Besides using bombs from the nuclear waste, some terrorist can use the commercial jet to attack the nuclear power plant that will give the same damage as radioactive bombs. The reason is the melting of nuclear reactor core will be released and there will create serious effects to the environment. Hiroshima bomb only use a simple barrel design and it is created using highly enriched uranium or plutonium. Nuclear power plant should not exist for the world peace with no extensive war with nuclear weapon.

The energy source that needed for nuclear power plant productivity is uranium. Uranium is a scarce source that is limited to be used and it is not renewable energy source. The estimated supply of uranium around the world is around 30 until 60 years depends on the demand for nuclear power plant. In the process of nuclear power plant, the uranium ore combined with fluorine to make a chemical compound named uranium hexafluoride. Then this compound is heated and vaporizes. Next, the molecule of uranium hexafluoride is very light and it will go through the filter easily. This will create the uranium hexafluoride with higher proportion 235U and the result is the enriched fuel. It shows that uranium is an important chemical for nuclear power plant productivity. The other energy source that also needed for combination with uranium is called plutonium.

Moreover, the cost of running the nuclear power plant is very expensive. The cost of it is divides into 4 types of cost. They are the building construction cost of nuclear power plant, the operational cost of the plant productivity and generating energy; cost of the nuclear disposal waste from plant and cost of deactivating the plant. First is the construction cost of nuclear power plant that are divided into design flaws (the design of plant should be properly made to prevent the leakage and other accident caused by this nuclear power plant), two hurdle licensing (In constructing a new plant, it is required to have both license to build the nuclear power plant and for operating the plant), non uniform design (each design of the building and the equipment should have NRC licensing approval which is very difficult to obtain). Second is the operational cost that used for uranium ore and charge for disposal waste. The price of uranium ore is around 0.05 cents per KW-Hr. In addition, the charge for disposal waste is 0.2 cents per KW-Hr. In 2004, the cost of producing electricity is 1.68 cents per KW-Hr. Third is the waste disposal cost. There are varieties of charge for waste disposal in some countries. In United States, nuclear power operation costs are charged 0.1 cents per KW-Hr only for this nuclear disposal waste. On the other hand, in Sweden, the cost of operations is charged 0.13 US cents per KW-Hr. However, in France, the cost of disposal waste is 10% of the construction cost which is very expensive. Forth is the cost to deactivating the nuclear power plant. In United States, the cost for deactivating the plant is USD $300 million. On the other hand, in British country, the cost of deactivating it is approximately 1 billion pounds each nuclear reactor.

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In addition, in some countries that have the nuclear power plant and uranium mining, they are possible to use uranium for different purpose such as to make nuclear weapon. This nuclear weapon is very dangerous. In the world war, when Nagasaki was bombed by atomic weapon, there are a lot of victims are dead in that region. If this nuclear weapon is used, the effect will affect to half of earth and kill a lot of populations. The energy of nuclear weapon are divided into 50% as the blast, 35% as thermal radiation (radiation includes infrared, ultraviolet light and soft x-ray in the same time as it explodes) and 15% as nuclear radiation. This radiation cause a very high temperatures around million degrees. Now Indonesia has the uranium mining located in several areas such as Kalimantan and Irian Jaya. If Indonesia make the nuclear weapon, it won’t give safety to Indonesian people because the radiation still can affect to Indonesia with long range radius of explosion.

Last but not least, another alternative energy sources are valuable than nuclear power. Nuclear power can only supply the electricity. However, nuclear power cannot replace the oil and gas that are used for vehicle and for heating. In general energy usage, our daily consumption is 86% for both oil and gas, another 14% is the electricity. The use of fossil fuels as alternative energy source creates low carbon energy quicker and the cost is cheaper. In addition, it is safer and it is not hard to get the license to build the plant compared with nuclear power plant. Another alternative energy source like solar power is also very efficient and the material for it is categorized as scarce source because it takes sunlight power to get energy. The other alternative energy sources that have no limit of uses are tidal power, wind power, geothermal power and biomass. Some houses are using solar power for water heater so it cheaper because it doesn’t need any electricity. In the solar power productivity, there will be no significant waste and it is environmental friendly. Tidal power uses the pressure and power of sea water that generates electricity using the turbine. This tidal power productivity does not cause any pollution of other thread that can damage environment so it is environmental friendly. In addition, in Indonesia, there are some areas that have a huge wind and build a wind power plant for generating electricity is a good idea. The reason is because it doesn’t cause any harmful waste and it is a renewable energy comes from wind. Furthermore, Indonesia can use geothermal energy source as solution for electricity. Indonesia has huge lands and it is possible to make this geothermal plant that uses the heat of underground to produce electricity. The deeper location of geothermal generator, the temperature will be higher and produce more electricity. In Indonesia, biomass can be another good solution for supplying electricity because there are a lot of food wastes. In the process, that waste is useful to heat the generator and create electricity. Compared with nuclear power that can cause many environmental problems and harmful, another alternative energy source is highly recommended to be used for safety reason.

To conclude, nuclear power plant should not be built in Indonesia. There are a lot of disadvantages of nuclear power productivity that may damage to surrounding environment. However there are another alternative energy sources that can be selected to be used for generating electricity effectively with minimum risk.


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