Shintaro, Yoshino, and Risa
Nuclear power is the use of nuclear reactions that release nuclear energy to generate heat, which most frequently is then used in steam turbines to produce electricity.
There are two ways of electricity generation in nuclear energy: nuclear fusion and fission. Nuclear fusion is that energy is released when atoms are combined or fused together to form a larger atom. This is how the sun produces energy. In nuclear fission, atoms are split apart to form smaller atoms, releasing energy. Nuclear power plants use nuclear fission to produce electricity.
According to the data of nuclear energy around the world, as of November 2016, 30 countries are operating 450 nuclear reactors for electricity generation, and 60 new nuclear plants are under construction in 15 countries. The reasons why some countries are using nuclear energy are just because there are several pros.
We would like to focus on two biggest pros. It is a clean energy. Nuclear is able to produce electricity without greenhouse gas emissions, that means it can produce electricity without pollution. It emits much less amounts of carbon dioxide than fossil fuels. Also, it is powerful and efficient than other alternative energy sources. According to the data of the capacity factor by generating source, Nuclear power plants generate electricity 24/7 at a 92 percent capacity factor. This is more efficient than other types of energy—combined-cycle natural gas, with a 56 percent capacity factor; coal-fired at 55 percent; and wind at 33 percent. Thus, it is clean, powerful, and efficient.
Even though we mentioned some pros of nuclear energy, there are some cons and accidents caused by nuclear power. We will explain about them next.
Nuclear power has a lot of advantages, however, it has disadvantages of using nuclear power as well. First, there are always high risk of using nuclear power. Even though nuclear power station is protected and controlled strictly, accident still can happen. Actually, it is almost impossible to build a plant with 100% security. I will talk later about Chernobyl disaster and Fukushima daiichi nuclear disaster. Second, Radiation effects to environment and human health. Even small radiation leaks can cause huge effect on environment and human health. For example, if radiation leaks, people can not live the area around nuclear station, and fish, animals, and crops can not be eaten. Radiation There are power reactors called breeders. And They can produce plutonium. Plutonium is an substance, element which is not found in the nature. it is a fissionable element and can be harmful. It is used to produce nuclear weapons. Third, using nuclear energy needs a lot of investment to built a nuclear power station., so it costs a lot. It is not easy and possible for developing countries to create nuclear power station because of cost. Nuclear power plants normally take 5-10 years to finish building completely.
Finally, Disposal of Radioactive is still an unsolved problem. The waste from nuclear energy is extremely dangerous and it has to be careful. It is said that waste of nuclear energy needs for several thousand years until they will be weak. So, I wanna introduce some of ways how to dispose radioactive waste. Radioactive waste are usually needed deep and permanent burial. And stored in water cooled pools or contained temporary dry cask storages. And reprocessing for Plutonium. There are some examples of nuclear disaster. Chernobyl disaster, was one of the biggest nuclear accident occurred on 26 April 1986. During a late night, safety systems were turned off, and then the nuclear power was out of control. According to the 2005 Chernobyl Forum report, thyroid cancer among children to be one of the main health impacts because of Chernobyl accident. It is said that the number of cancer rate was immediately increasing after this accident. Another example of nuclear accident is called “Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear disaster. The difference between Chernobyl disaster and Fukushima daiichi disaster is that Fukushima daiichi nuclear disaster is caused by earthquake and tsunami. 2011, March 11, Japan had a huge earthquake which was M9. And tsunami was 15m(50feet). Because of huge earthquake, tsunami happened and hit Tohoku area. Following earthquake, tsunami and failing cooling systems of nuclear power, a nuclear emergency was declared for the first time in Japan. As a result of this, over 140000 residents within 20km(which is 12 miles) of the plant were evacuated. It was a really terrible accident, and people who used to live around fukushima daiichi nuclear station still can not go back to their home.
Overall, we agree with using nuclear power to generate electricity with two reasons. The first reason is that we can protect the Earth from global warming and pollution. Nuclear power can make electricity with little green gas emissions, and also, it does not emit carbon dioxide so much. Since both of them cause global warming, we can prevent it if we use nuclear power. In addition, nuclear power does not cause any pollution, such as air pollution, pollution, and water pollution if something happens in nuclear plants. The second reason is that nuclear power can provide electricity constantly than other power generators. For example, solar power cannot make it without the sunshine so people cannot get it if it is raining. Wind power requires the wind so it cannot make electricity without the wind for sure, and also, people cannot make it work if the wind is too strong because it is too dangerous. Thermal power needs fossil fuels, such as coals and oils so we have to be worried about how much we can use it. If we use nuclear power, we can get electricity even though it is rough weather and we can save fossil fuels for future generations.
In conclusion, nuclear power has advantages and disadvantages. It is still new technology so it brought terrible accidents, such as Fukushima nuclear disaster and Chernobyl disaster so people must consider it carefully and they should think about what they are going to do when something happens in nuclear plants if they decide to have it.