Causes And Effects Of Nuclear Energy Environmental Sciences Essay


Energy is life, as life on this planet depends upon a fixed amount of energy citation . Modern industrialized energy sources, such as coal and petroleum, were originally utilized for their seeming promise of high energies yielded per unit volume. Now, there is a much cleaner source of energy, it is called Nuclear power. It originates from the splitting of uranium atoms in a process called fission (The Nuclear Energy Institute (2012). Power plants use fission processes to generate heat for producing steam, which is used by a turbine to generate electricity (The Nuclear Energy Institute (2012). This electricity is consumed by people. This essay will firstly discuss the environment as for cause for nuclear energy, and then detail its subsequent negative biological and environmental effects.

Para 1 (Benefits)

To begin with there are many causes of nuclear power, but the key focus is that nuclear power does not emit carbon dioxide; it is reliable and is very efficient compared to other sources of power such as fossil fuel and coal. No carbon emissions this the big selling point to environmentalists about nuclear power plants are that they are said to emit almost no carbon dioxide. Some prominent environmentalists have embraced nuclear power because they see the imminent threat of global warming outweighing the potential threat of localized nuclear meltdowns. But how true is the claim.

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Reliability of nuclear power plants need little fuel, so they are less vulnerable to shortages because of strikes or natural disasters. International relations will have little effect on the supply of fuel to the reactors because uranium is evenly deposited around the globe. As stated by The Nuclear Energy Institute 2012 one disadvantage of uranium mining is that it leaves the residues from chemical processing of the ore, which leads to radon exposure to the public. Safety the results of a compromised reactor core can be disastrous, but the precautions that prevent this from happening prevent it well. Nuclear power is one the safest methods of producing energy. As stated by The Nuclear Energy Institute 2012 each year, 10,000 to 50,000 Americans die from respiratory diseases due to the burning of coal, and 300 are killed in mining and transportation accidents.


However there are many effects of nuclear power on the environment which are devastating the two major risk of meltdowns and the waste dispsal. Meltdowns occur if there is a loss of coolant water in a fission reactor, the rods would overheat. The rods that contain the uranium fuel pellets would dissolve, leaving the fuel exposed. The temperature would increase with the lack of a cooling source.  As stated by Apikyyan, S and Diamond, D 2009. when the fuel rods heat to 2800°C, the fuel would melt, and a white-hot molten mass would melt its way through the containment vessels to the ground below it.

Waste Disposal the biggest stumbling block in support of nuclear power is the question of what to do with the as stated by The daily green 2012. 20-30 tons of radioactive waste that each reactor accrues annually. Currently, waste is stored at nuclear plants across the country as new waste storage schemes are devised â€" then fought over, scrapped, revised and fought over again. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has said that waste can continue to be stored at plants almost 60 years after they shut down.


Latly the effects on people


Radiation doses of about 200 rems cause radiation sickness, but only if this large amount of radiation is received all at once. The average person receives about 200 millirems a year from everyday objects and outer space.

Apikyyan, S and Diamond, D 2009. Nuclear Power and Energy Security. (1edtion) Springer Publishing.

Risk of Catastrophe

Fukushima has joined Three Mile Island and Chernobyl in the vocabulary of dangerous nuclear mishaps. The explosion at Chernobyl’s nuclear plant in the Ukraine showed how nuclear energy could just as easily destroy us as it nurtures our everyday needs.

The daily green 2012. Nuclear Power, retrieved from


To concluded the effects of nuclear power is to dangerous in the long term as it will affect the environment and the people

References List

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Apikyyan, S & Diamond, D. (2009). Nuclear Power and Energy Security. (1st ed)N.P. Springer Publishing.

The daily green (2012). Nuclear Power, retrieved from

The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) (2012). Retrieved from

U.S. Department of Energy (2012). Retrieved from

Nuclear Power and Energy Security

edited by Samuel Apikyan, David Diamond

World energy consumption has developed dramatically over the past few decades. This growth in energy demand will be driven by large increases in both economic growth and world population coupled with rising living standards in rapidly growing countries. This proceeding examines the status and future of nuclear power because of a belief that this technology is an important option for the regional and the world countries to meet the future energy needs without emitting carbon dioxide and other atmospheric pollutants. The objectives, addressed to government, industry, and academic leaders, discusses the interrelated technical, economic, environmental and political challenges facing a significant increase in the global nuclear power utilization over the next half century and what might be done to overcome those challenges.

U.S. Department of Energy 2012. Retrieved from

Electricity drives the U.S. economy. It powers our homes, offices, and industries; provides communications, entertainment, and medical services; powers computers, technology, and the Internet; and runs various forms of transportation. Electricity and the many technologies that it powers enhance the quality of life for our customers and contribute to the progress and success of our nation.

Even as electric utilities and power suppliers work hard to meet the increasing demands

of consumers, they are strongly committed to reducing the environmental impact of electric

generation. As an industry, the electric power sector has implemented flexible and costeffective

voluntary programs to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for several years.