Going Nuclear: The Electric Light Charade Essay

2203 Words 9 Pages
Concerns over energy resource availability suggest an important role for nuclear power in supplying energy in the 21st century. Albert Einstein’s genius brought the concept of nuclear energy to the forefront, and he proved that nuclear energy had the potential to produce incredible amounts of energy. Nuclear energy remains the most cost-effective way to provide enough energy to electrify the world, despite fears of a disaster like Japan’s. Many new technologies lie on the horizon for nuclear energy, some which will benefit entire countries as they develop cutting-edge nuclear facilities, and some that will benefit society as a whole in areas like nuclear medicine and nuclear desalination. Regulatory oversight and nuclear security for …show more content…
The split nuclei release energy in the form of heat, which boils water, thereby producing steam. This pressurized steam drives the blades of a turbine, and the shaft of the turbine is connected to an electric generator (Bryce). This process is called the nuclear fuel cycle and it explains how energy is produced at nuclear power plants.
Although nuclear energy is considered by some to be what will save our planet, it can be most dangerous when we least expect it. The recent Fukushima disaster has become the most significant event in the history of nuclear power. On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9 earthquake occurred at 2:46 PM about 80 miles out in the Pacific Ocean east of Sendai, Japan. The earthquake resulted in a tsunami over 40 feet high, which struck the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. “What many have described as a ‘one-two punch’ left the complex without its normal power supply and also knocked out its backup power supply, a condition known as a ‘station blackout’” (Kolbert). These events quickly led to hydrogen being released in the reactor building, causing a hydrogen explosion to occur; by observing the explosions of hydrogen gas, scientists knew that the nuclear fuel rods heated to very dangerous levels. Then, “on April 11, the Japanese government's nuclear safety agency raised the crisis level of the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant accident from 5 to 7, the worst on

Related Documents