Natural Disasters in Nuclear Energy

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Natural Disasters in Nuclear Energy Development
Carlaine Puckett
Strayer University

The modern day dependency on fossil fuels has led to a global search for ethical and environmentally-sound alternative energy. Among the most powerful is nuclear energy, though it is mired in controversy. This essay describes, among other things, the nuclear energy process, and with it the weaknesses. Amid the hope of one day using nuclear energy as a “green” energy source, there is much fear of devastation, due to the four main nuclear disasters in Earth’s history. After the most recent nuclear disaster, Fukushima, Germany reversed their stance on nuclear energy, denouncing any future involvement with the research,
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Once we are liberated from our dependence upon fossil fuels, we can leap into the sustainable future nuclear power promises to provide. Nuclear energy is created through a complicated scientific process. This process utilizes an amount of natural resources so small that it is by far the most productive form of alternative energy. Uranium deposits are found in rocks around the world. The rocks are crushed and then leached to dissolve the uranium. “Yellowcake” (uranum oxide U308) is precipitated out of the solution and converted into gaseous form. It is then enriched with the U-235 isotope, turned into pellets, and incased in long metal tubes known as fuel rods. These fuel rods comprise the core of a nuclear reactor. Water is poured over the reactor to regulate its temperature. During this part of the process, the water is converted to steam which is channeled through turbines, thus creating electricity (WNA, 2011). The above mentioned process contains weaknesses. However, through planning, and error scientists have been able to minimize, if not even eliminate the treat level from these weaknesses. At the uranium mines, tailings are produced, which are the materials that can be left over after the mining process. During the operation of nuclear energy small amounts of radioactive isotopes are released. At the reactor site, spent nuclear fuel, including plutonium
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