Tap to Read ➤

Problems and Dangers of Nuclear Energy

Scholasticus K Aug 28, 2020
Many nations around the world have developed reactors to harness the nuclear energy. This energy can be put to many different uses; some destructive, others creative. Read on to know about the problems and dangers of nuclear energy.
In the modern era, the discovery of the energy that is stored within the structure of the atomic nucleus led to the usage of a new form of energy, i.e, the nuclear energy. The concept of nuclear physics is constantly developing as an independent discipline of science.
The usage of nuclear energy often sounds incredible and every advantageous, but it results into disaster if proper precautions are not taken. Here are a few problems that are commonly associated nuclear power plants.

Waste Disposal

During the process of nuclear fission, neutrons (subatomic particles having no charge) are bombarded on atoms of heavy elements, like uranium. This bombardment causes the entire fuel of the reactor, that is usually uranium or plutonium, to disintegrate or decompose.
The process of decomposition produces a huge amount of heat, a large volume of heavy element atoms, and a lot of neutrons. In addition to these products, the nuclear fission also produces a big volume of radioactive waste, which can be easily used to make a nuclear bomb.
The waste has to be disposed off in some or the other manner, but its disposal and storage is very costly. If it falls in the wrong hands, like those of a terrorist organization, it can prove to be extremely fatal. The leakage of radioactive waste from the reactor or from highly secured storage areas is also very dangerous.
Living beings exposed to such kind of radiation, especially from nuclear waste, suffer from many problems, like cancer, abnormal growth, and even immediate death.

Reactor Safety

Nuclear reactor is the place inside which the process of nuclear integration takes place. The environment inside the place is full of heated reactions. The reactions of nuclear fission not only produce heat, but they also result into many different reactions, due to the fact that the neutrons are produced as a by-product in the process of making nuclear fission a chain reaction.
It is very important that the environment within the reactor remains highly controlled and sealed. The action of fission also tends to produce a high amount of radiation. If the radiation or the reacting elements leak out, then the health of people in the vicinity is endangered.
The leaked matter sometimes also spreads through the atmosphere. If the level of leakage is very high, it can also cause a huge explosion in the environment that would be comparable to a miniature nuclear bomb explosion.

Nuclear Meltdown

One of the biggest risks of nuclear energy is meltdown. It occurs when the coolant, which is prominently heavy water, gets over-heated or stops working. Sometimes, the controlled environmental conditions also get over heated, causing a meltdown.
In case of a meltdown, the radiations that are produced in the reactions escape the controlled environment. The meltdown releases many toxic elements into the environment, contaminating a huge area. A nuclear meltdown in the reactor had occurred at Chernobyl, Ukraine, which resulted into the death of a huge number of people.
It is hence wise to take the proper precautions and avoid nuclear disasters. The control measures, though costly, ensure an uncontaminated environment for the current as well as the future generations to come. If not, then the nuclear contamination is easily capable of wiping out mankind.