Thursday, October 28, 2010

Nuclear waste pollution issue facts

Nuclear power isn't connected with harmful greenhouse gases, and this is one of the main reasons why many people still support nuclear power as one of the best solutions to cut global fossil fuels usage. The newer nuclear power plants have showed to be very reliable in delivering the energy, and are also operating with maximum safety measures meaning that there's almost a zero chance for new Chernobyl accident. Still, despite all of this nuclear energy sector still hasn't solved one of the most important issues, namely the nuclear waste issue.

Nuclear waste is radioactive for around 5000 years, and as such presents not only a big environmental but also a big threat to our health in form of nuclear waste pollution. Nuclear waste needs to be safely stored, and isolated from the surrounding environment in order to avoid the damage.

Since many countries around the globe are determined to add more nuclear power to their energy grid nuclear energy waste issue has become extremely important. For instance, EU will promote underground storage as the safest option for storing nuclear waste.

The additional problem with the nuclear waste issue is also the fact that very few countries across the globe have well-established programmes to implement disposal of fuel and waste from nuclear power plants.

World needs to quickly solve the nuclear waste issue because it wouldn't be morally right to leave this issue for our future generations. As the old saying goes the one(s) who have started the mess should also finish it.

Many scientists agree that deep underground storage is the safest option for storing nuclear waste but the world still faces many scientific and engineering challenges that will need to be overcome prior to actually using this method such as waste container design, the stability of host rock and an adequate measures to monitor and retrieve the waste in case of catastrophic leakages. Of course this will also be connected with huge costs.

But in any case, regardless of differences in opinions, this issue needs to be resolved as soon as possible. On top of so many different environmental problems the last thing this world needs right now is to worry about the safety of nuclear waste disposal.

4 comments:

  1. ya people better take care of that problem or our world will become like the world in WALL-E.

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  2. yeah, hows this look now after the fukujima accident in japan?

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  3. Nuclear power is still better than coal. And that accident was, after all, an accident. Accidents are caused by careless people. As long as smart people are in charge of the plants, nuclear power plants are probably the most efficient form of energy currently available to us.

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  4. Unfortunately smart people are not always in charge of the plants. I've heard accounts of plants in the US, located on major fault lines, with back-up cooling pumps that were out of order for as long as 2 years before being fixed. Not to mention the fact that radiation brittles steel, so most plants will have leaky pipes well before the end of their life spans.

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