World with or without nuclear power plant……
Nuclear energy either for power production or for manufacturing of Nuclear weapon is burning issue and will remain controversy for decades to come. This form of energy replicates the equation of Einstein i.e. E = mc^2 and uses small mass of radioactive material like uranium, plutonium etc. as fuel to produce energy by nuclear fission.
Some do support and some don’t……
Some countries like United States of America, France, India, China, United Kingdom, Pakistan, Turkey, Iran, etc. are supporting nuclear technology. They believe that it is the cleanest form of energy as far as carbon emission is concerned and produces energy that could fulfill growing demand of mammoth economy. Such power plants could prove extremely effective for reduction of Greenhouse gas emissions like carbon-dioxide, Nitrous oxide, etc. It could mitigate Global warming, which is thought to be the culprit for extreme snow in New York, flooding in Nepal and India, drought in Somalia and melting of glaciers in Mount Everest.
However, there are other countries like Germany and Japan, which are against this technology. The devastating accident took place at the nuclear power plant of Fukushima (Japan) on 2011 A.D. resulted from tsunami followed after the earthquake. This nuclear reactor was not designed for earthquake of such magnitude and the incident occurred when the backup system supplying coolant to the high temperature rods of nuclear fuel stopped working. This incident was followed by a hydrogen blast at water storage tank used to store spent fuel which caused the spread of radioactive material into the surrounding environment. Thus, Japan has decided not to build new Nuclear power plant. On the other hand, Germany has decided to shut down all of its 17 nuclear power plants by 2022 A.D. and currently more than 8 of the reactors have either been decommissioned or are not producing power. This will cost Germany about 1 trillion euro to compensate nuclear energy via renewable energy and lignite fueled (a type of coal with medium calorific value) coal power plant. Emissions of such radioactive material have serious health complications like cancer, premature birth and detrimental genetic mutation for generations.
What about these horrific incidents and dangerous outcomes?
If one has to summarize nuclear accidents that have occurred till date, the most devastating ones are Chernobyl accident in Ukraine, Fukushima (already discussed above) and at Rhode Island of USA. Among these, Chernobyl was the most detrimental because even today, it is affecting people and the environment in the vicinity and the radioactive levels are still thought to be beyond tolerable limits. Most of the people, especially children, have thyroid cancer as plutonium (a radioactive material which has decay life of millions of years) is still being emitted. Even the scientist who conceptualized this reactor had to admit his faulty design and thus had to suicide.
Iran is a country earlier sanctioned by USA and many other countries because of its so-called misuse of nuclear reactors. It was believed that, Iran was using its nuclear reactors for manufacturing of nuclear bomb and missiles via Uranium-235 (a radioactive material used as nuclear fuel). Normally, nuclear fuel needs to be enriched up to 3-5 % for Nuclear power plants, but Iran was supposed to be enriching it up to 20 %. On the other hand, North Korea is even thought to be using Uranium for manufacturing of nuclear missiles with invisible support from China. Thus, this country is always threat not only for the USA but also for the entire world. Serious implications of a nuclear accident in any part of the world can be transferred within some days via water and air.
Radioactive nuclear fuels are precious Gems….
Australia is the one of the country that has abundant mines of radioactive Uranium 235 and Uranium 238. So, it is earning billions of dollars just by exporting such fuels that are used in majority of Nuclear power plants operated all around the world. This is contributing immensely to its economy and generating employment to the local people.
According to Department of Mines and Geology of Nepal, it has been found that “Mustang” has a huge resource of Uranium in the area of some square kilometers. Thus, if Nepal could do proper mining and export “yellow cake” (a preliminary form of U-235 and U-238) to India and China, it could earn billions. However, our government isn’t thoughtful about such benefits that could boost our economy.
I don’t think it makes any sense….
Germany is the only country in the world that will completely abstain from nuclear energy. Ironically, it is importing electricity, mostly from France to compensate the energy deficit which has more than 70 nuclear power plants. So, if Germany really wants to be an example for the entire world, it should stop importing such electricity, so that in broader spectrum everything can be justifiable. Moreover, any nuclear accidents in the neighboring country like France, Great Britain, and Turkey etc. can easily affect Germany within some days. Thus, if Germany and Japan really want to stop such reactors, then they should do it with a collaborative approach via involvement of different countries.
Note: The information provided in this blog is personal view of a writer.