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Advantages and hazards of nuclear energy and safety

April 01, 2011  by: Justeen  Points: 12   Category: General Science  Earning $0.25   Views: 570

Nuclear power has many advantages as well as disadvantages. This article shows some of the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear energy.

         

Advantages of nuclear energy:

Nuclear power stations have many advantages over thermal power stations.

(1) Nuclear power stations do not produce gases like carbon dioxide and sulphur oxides. So they do not pollute the atmosphere.

(2) Their fuel uranium will not run out even after the available fossil fuels are used up completely.

(3) Some reactors called breeder reactors actually produce nuclear fuel while they are in operation.

(4) The nuclear reactors generate power for the propulsion of ships and submarines.

(5) They produce radio isotopes and neutron beam for medical and nuclear research applications.

Hazards of nuclear energy:

Inspite of all these advantages there are many disadvantages also. People all over the world are always exposed to radiation.

Alpha, Beta and Gamma radiations are all ionising radiations. They knock electrons away from atoms when they pass through them. This causes a change in the structure and behaviour of molecules in cells. If an organism receives a large dose of radiation, then many molecules may get damaged. This affects all the processes taking place in the body and the person feels ill. This is known as radiation sickness.

If a nuclear reactor runs out of control large amounts of radiation may be released into air. This happened at the nuclear station in Chernobyl, Russia, in 1986. Hence the radiation spreaded into air and blown by winds into the Central Europe thousands of kilometres away. Some farmers in Britain were not able to sell their lambs for meat because of radioactive contamination of the soil from the Chernobyl accident even after five years.

The unit of radiation exposure is roentgen. One roentgen (R) is a quantity of radiation which produces 1.61 * 10 to the powerc 15 ion pairs in one kilogram of air.

Workers in nuclear power stations, mines and X-ray laboratories wear photographic film badges. If the wearer is exposed to radiation, it will affect the film. The badges are collected regularly and the film is developed to check if the wearer is being exposed to radiation.

Safety measures:

The following precautions are taken in radiation laboratories :

(1) Radioactive materials are kept in thickn walled lead containers.

(2) Lead aprons and gloves are used while working in hazardous places.

(3) A small micro-film badge is always worn by the person and it is checked periodically for the safety limit of radiation.




Comment(s)
Author: joeldgreat        
Posted Date: 04/06/2011    Points:3    

With the recent Nuclear crisis that Japan is facing right now, I wonder if countries who promotes nuclear energy would now think twice before endorsing this very cheap but dangerous form of energy. Just think that Japan is one at the top of the best countries when it comes to technology, yet, now they are having problems with their nuclear plant. When Mother Nature speaks, nobody is above it.

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