Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Maybe to Nuclear Energy!

When I heard about the nuclear meltdown in Japan I was ready to hate nuclear all together, but sometimes we have to see all the facts in front of us. nuclear is a non renewable resource, but so is coal and oil. Now if I had to chose between Oil which is a non renewable resource, has caused major climate change and deaths every year(ex: of oil spills like the gulf oil spill or the Alaska oil spill) I would choose nuclear. Slate news even found out that if you take all the deaths Oil has caused (not including disease caused by pollution) compared to the deaths nuclear has caused. You see that for every unit of energy oil kills 18 times more people than nuclear. There has also been more Coal mines crumbling down (like the one in Chile and west Virginia from last year) then there has been nuclear meltdowns. And more people have died from crumbling coal mines and sickness from working at a coal mine than have died in nuclear energy. Nuclear meltdowns like the one in Chernobyl only happen because it was poorly designed here in the U.S and Canada we have regulations that make are nuclear plants safer from nuclear meltdown. The Three Mile Island in the U.S nuclear reactor meltdown caused no deaths, no significant radiation leaks and no illness came from this meltdown. The reason for the Japanese reactors melting is because of poor regulation.
Dr Masashi Goto, a nuclear engineer, resigned from his job at the Toshiba Corporation over safety concerns.
Dr Goto criticised his country's record on nuclear safety.
"We have the government commission overseeing nuclear safety standards and in my opinion they are not doing their job," he told ABC correspondent Eric Campbell last Thursday in Tokyo in an exclusive interview for Four Corners.
Dr Goto alleges that in Japan's nuclear industry profits take precedence over safety standards.
"No-one says it officially or openly. When setting standards for future earthquakes, the thought is of money - how much is it going to cost?" he said.
Although Nuclear regulation in the U.S are weaker than Japan you have to take in consideration that the U.S doesn't and isn't expecting a magnitude 9.0 earthquake. Now I do think that nuclear regulations should be prepared for the worst case scenario. Which in Japan they were not. But the U.S worst case scenario isn't magnitude 9.0 earthquake. Now I am not supporting nuclear energy in fact I don't support nuclear energy at all.I think that we should start to eliminate our nuclear reactors in North America as the U.S has done for the past decades. Currently there is debate in Vermont whether to close a nuclear power plant I fully support ending that Nuclear power plants license, and starting to build cleaner energy to replace it. Now to be realistic I don't think that all nuclear power plants be destroyed tomorrow, but rather all nuclear power plants must first be inspected, and if any pose problems fix the plant. All Nuclear energy plants should be given a timetable in which they have to leave as the city starts to build cleaner energy to replace it. Nuclear should slowly start to leave the North America as should fossil fuels, but Because efficient nuclear power plants with strong regulations emits much less and is safer than coal or oil it would be smart to start eliminating more coal and oil plants first then move to eliminate Nuclear (when they're time is up). So Nuclear is good it is bad , but when compared to the other things we use it is much better, but no new Nuclear power plants should be built.
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