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Pros And Cons Of Nucelar Energy

611 words - 3 pages

Advantages

1) Nuclear power generation does emit relatively low amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2). The emissions of green house gases and therefore the contribution of nuclear power plants to global warming is therefore relatively little. Between mining the uranium, refining and enriching fuel, and finally to building and operating the plant, a big 1,250 250-megawatt nuclear facility produces an estimated 250,000 tons of carbon dioxide during its lifetime. In contrast, coal-fired plants produce close to 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide every year in the U.S. alone while also emitting lots of other pollution: soot that causes lung diseases; sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides that cause smog and acid rain; and mercury that contaminates fish. In fact, coal kills 4000 times as many people as nuclear power, according to one analysis.

2) It is possible to generate a high amount of electrical energy in one ...view middle of the document...

3) Nuclear power plants as well as nuclear waste could be preferred targets for terrorist attacks.

4) 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.

While nuclear power would allow Singapore to achieve energy self sufficiency, the risks and dangers that come along with the technology should not be overlooked.

The chief danger of nuclear power generation lies with the mining waste; it contains radium, which is highly radioactive. Radon gas (one of the products that occur after radium undergoes radioactive decay) can expose workers and nearby communities to an array of health risks like lung cancer, bone cancer and lymphoma. According to a study in Germany, the closer a person stays to a nuclear power plant, the more likely it is for him to develop cancer.

Secondly, the energy source for nuclear energy is Uranium, which is a scarce resource. Current supply would only be able to last us only for an estimated 80 years depending on the actual demand (4). With the world’s energy demands rising and Uranium supplies depleting at a faster rate, questions would be raised regarding the cost effectiveness and feasibility of such a project in Singapore.

Last but not least, despite strict security standards, accidents can still occur. The recent Fukushima incident has joined Three Mile Island and Chernobyl in the list of dangerous nuclear mishaps. According to the book Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, 985,000 deaths can be attributed to the Chernobyl accident between 1986 and 2004. Considering that Singapore is a small island state with a high urban density, it would be difficult to execute evacuative measures if such a catastrophe were to take place.

(4)http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf75.html
(5)http://timeforchange.org/nuclear-power-station-causing-cancer-leukemia
(6)http://www.wagingpeace.org/menu/issues/nuclear-energy-&-waste/nuclear-energy-fact-sheet.php

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