Since its discovery in the late 19th century, nuclear energy has been used in a diversity of areas such as atomic bombs, medicine, reducing pollution and food irradiation (Gupta, 2012). However, one of the biggest outcomes since this discovery is nuclear energy generation. This subject is largely controversial as it has many pros and cons. It is considered to be a more eco-friendly alternative source of electricity, as it emits less carbon emissions than coal-fired power stations, for example. Yet there still an environmental risk provided by the radio-active waste and its inability to be disposed of for 100,000 years (Phillips, 2012). Today in Australia there are no active nuclear power plants but that is predicted to change in the
Highly radioactive waste disposal has become one of the most controversial aspects of nuclear technology. As the amount of spent nuclear fuel from commercial nuclear reactors and high-level radioactive waste from defense-related processing plants has continued to mount, the issue has become increasingly contentious and politicized.2 The politicization of this issue is especially evident in the site selection process of a permanent national repository for the disposal of highly radioactive waste.
While reading Richard A. Muller Nuclear Waste a professor of physics from the University of California. I really enjoyed the reading and learning how nuclear waste “is one of the biggest technical issues that any president is likely to face”. In this chapter he also spoke of Plutonium which is a transuranic radioactive chemical element with symbol Pu and atomic number 94. Richard also went on to say that there is a “safe” nuclear waste disposal located in Yucca Mountain, Nevada. In order to keep the waste disposal safe, it is buried in a storage room in which is 1000 feet below the surface.
Recently, there has been debates on whether or not Australia should result to nuclear energy for some of its energy source. The main issue is to do with the risk when nuclear energy is used. The chance of a nuclear disaster in a nuclear power plant is actually incredibly small, however, if the risk does occur, the consequence is devastating. (Gary Was, 2015). Australia also currently has no nuclear power generators, which is a surprise since it owns about 31% of the world’s uranium resources. (Wikipedia, Last Modified 16 July 2015). Back in February 8th this year, Premier Jay Weatherill, said that there would be a, “mature and robust conversation” about South Australia’s future participation in a nuclear fuel cycle, including the prospects for setting up nuclear power stations, uranium enrichment plants and a nuclear waste dump in the state. (George Lekakis, 2015).
Nuclear waste is a growing concern in the Untied States and throughout the world today. Even right now as I type this paper Congress is debating as to allow nuclear waste to be stored in Yucca Mountain in Nevada. This debate in Congress will help decide the way that the Untied States deals with nuclear waste issues in the future. Nuclear waste is hazardous to human life. It contains many harmful chemicals that could hurt life. Nuclear waste could even disrupt or genetics and cause mutations in human life forms. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified four
The overarching question of, ‘Should Nuclear Waste be Disposed of in South Australia?’ will be answered in this outcome. Nuclear waste is material that has been used in a nuclear reactor. It looks exactly the same on the outside, as it did when it went into the reactor (see Figure 1). Once nuclear fission has taken place inside the reactor to make electricity, the Uranium breaks into many unstable isotopes. These isotopes will remain radioactive for thousands of years. Hence, the need for more nuclear waste storage facilities. A storage facility in South Australia would be geographically perfect and hold low level (plastic), intermediate (see Figure 2) and high level waste, like spent uranium fuel cells. The answer will be supported and derived from multiple sources, including; my survey data, expert reports, statistics, graphs and tables.
Imagine your old community swimming pool filled with trash. Now as time passes that trash just keeps accumulating; what would you do with that trash? Where does it go or more importantly where can it go? Well, instead of trash imagine nuclear waste. Currently, 122 power plants across the U.S have spent nuclear fuel and waste that is laying unattended with nowhere to go. Our government tried to tackle this problem by
While, coal-burning plants release tons of ash into the atmosphere, which is a cause to acid rain (“Nuclear Energy”, 2015). Additionally, coal-burning plants release a toxic gas, which has been associated with cancer; moreover, the burning of fossil fuels has been proven to cause the release of carbon dioxide and global warming (“Nuclear Energy”, 2015). On the other side of the spectrum, nuclear plants have been known for their issues in the leakage of toxic wastes, creating a risk of harm to the individuals who live around the area (Natural Resources Defense Council, 2007). Moreover, nuclear reactors create toxic wastes and until now the plans for long term storage for these wastes have not been created, which leaves the question of if there will ever be a plan implemented (“Nuclear Energy”, 2015)? Illustrates that an investment in a nuclear plant might be riskier than making an investment with a coal-burning plant.
In the twenty-first century, nuclear waste disposal is the most compelling environmental issue, and it poses a threat to public health. The United States federal law established Nuclear Waste Policy Act in 198216 which provide permanent disposal and storage locations for high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. These are the remote location to prevent radiation exposure on public health. Department of Energy monitors the program, and the Environmental Protection Agency have set standards for the public health and safety.
Should we be letting the rest of the world use our backyard as a dump for nuclear waste? South Australia is considering to build a nuclear waste dump which would ultimately hold 13% of the worlds high level nuclear waste. Currently this waste is being held around the world in different locations, i agree this is not a permanent solution but neither is burying it in the ground. I don't agree that we should be building a nuclear waste dump in South Australia but instead putting our time and money towards something more renewable would be a better investment. Nor is it necessary because in thirty years the world will run on renewable energy.
It is established that energy cannot be created nor destroyed and it could not be made out of nothing according the law of conservation of energy. The way that science explains the phenomenon of energy conservation is by portraying the conservation of energy as a physical transfer of energy between mediums through various forms such as heat, sound, and light. Since the discovery of fire in the early days of humanity, it can be understood that heat is the most versatile form of energy. On the expense of sacrificial physical matter, heat is produced particularly natural resource such as fossil fuels. While time progresses, the anticipated rate of decrease in fossil fuels has lead to the exploration of prospectively innovative long-term energy supplies. Nevertheless, like fossil fuels, injurious resources have professed many questions regarding the discarding of nuclear waste. This controversy paper will be mainly focusing on the question of whether nuclear waste can be disposed of safely.
Due to the nature of the proposed facility, there are multiple components that need to be considered. The supporting and technical documents were taken from nine different major fields which included Atmospheric Environment, Hydrology and Surface Water Quality, Geology, Aquatic Environment, Terrestrial Environment, Socio-Economic Environment, Aboriginal Interests, Radiation and Radioactivity and Malfunctions, Accidents and Malevolent acts. Extensive studies have been published in every field describing the process and the effects of the nuclear waste disposal facility along with different scenarios that might take place.
The hazardous radioactive nuclear waste stockpiles, created over several decades due to the expansion of nuclear industry in the domains of power generation, science, industry, military and medical fields, is an intensified global concern today. There are several categories of nuclear waste and the most unfavorable are the intermediate level and the high level nuclear leftovers because of their radioactivity (International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) 2013, p.9). The majority of this highly radioactive waste is produced in nuclear power generation as spent fuel in nuclear reactors. According to International Atomic Energy Agency there are 30 countries, operate 449 nuclear reactors for power generations and another 60 nuclear power plants
It is mandatory that measures are taken to eliminate nuclear waste because of the detrimental effect that these radioactive substances have. Radiation emits waves of harmful energy in waves or sub atomic particles that have the ability to pas through various materials such as cells, skin, or metal. “The mix of materials in nuclear waste means it could possibly need to be isolated for thousands of
One of the topics that every so often pops-up in the news is radioactive waste management and protecting the public against the hazards of radioactive waste from power plants and other facilities that produce radioactive waste. People