Thursday, September 24, 2009

7 Drawbacks To Using Nuclear Power

by Brett Stephens on September 23, 2009

People may argue that 25% of the world’s energy is produced through nuclear power, but what they do not understand is all the problems it brings:

1 – It costs a lot of money to setup:

Nuclear power plants are definitely not a cheap investment. At around six to twelve billion dollars each – just for installation – taxpayers have subsidized billions of dollars to keep the utilities afloat. This money could have been invested in cleaner renewable energies instead.

2 – It causes global warming:

Once seen as the solution to global climate change, nuclear power is far from it. Everywhere along the nuclear chain – from the mining of uranium to its transportation to the construction of the power plant – greenhouse gases are emitted.

What’s more is these reactors take years to be fully operational – wasting precious time in our fight against global warming. We could have used that time and money more wisely, such as improved research and development in solar and wind power.

3 – The bi-product is radioactive waste:

Each reactor creates a lot (twenty to thirty tonnes) of highly toxic radioactive waste per year. Not to mention the so-called “low” level radiation emitted in the rest of the supply chain – such as during the mining and milling process.

4 – It is a nuclear bomb just waiting to be detonated:

Nuclear power plants are not as safe as they are said to be. They could easily be attacked and even if an accident happened, there are no realistic evacuation measures in place. Furthermore, thanks to the Price-Anderson Act, a utility company is liable for only $10.8 billion as opposed to the real potential damage of $600 billion! Who will be picking up the rest of the bill? The working-class taxpayers – that’s who!

5 – Low-level radiation causes cancer:

The levels of radiation released in the air, water and soil are considered “safe”. However, this standard is based on how it impacts healthy, white males and does not take consideration for children that are sensitive to cancer-causing radiation.

We have also been misled about how safe it really is to “dispose” of all this radioactive waste. There is no scientific proof to show where the safest place to dump the waste is. And more nuclear plants would make the problem worse. There are only so many “safe” storage facilities. Any additional waste would have to be either burned or dumped in landfills – leading to air and water pollution.

6 – Nuclear development aids terrorism:

A country’s national security always feels at threat when extremist countries start harnessing nuclear power. Just think about Israel attacking Syria’s so-called nuclear site back in 2007, and how uneasy America was when Iran was developing its own nuclear program. Nuclear power sets the stage for the production of atomic bombs, so as long the number of reactors increases, the likelihood of terrorists getting their hands on nuclear weapons increases.

7 – There are better power options:

What frustrates us is that we we should rather be spending our time and money on the development of safer, cleaner, renewable energy solutions, such as erecting more solar plants and wind farms. Hopefully with Obama’s administration, nuclear energy will be phased out and largely replaced with the implementation of renewable energy.

But while we wait, it is possible to start harnessing renewable energy at home. What’s more is, it does not cost very much and is rather simple to implement. Various solar and wind power guides have already become available, which you can see in our reviews section.

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