NUCLEAR ISSUES INTRODUCTION As a consumer society, we are addicted to electricity and the technology it offers. Modern society is increasingly reliant on these consumer technologies. The rise in technology and population has pushed our energy consumption to an all-time high. There are numerous ways to produce enough energy to meet today's demands. According to U.S Energy Information Administration, fossil fuels like coal and natural gas provided 61% of the country's energy needs in 2014. Fossil fuel combustion emits dangerous greenhouse gases, which are a primary cause of the current global warming and the consequent climate change that has resulted. The rising levels of greenhouse gases and carbon emissions could be significantly reduced through the use of nuclear power. However, the radioactive waste generated by nuclear power plants, which takes a long time to decompose due to the fuel used, uranium, is a major drawback of the technology. DISCUSSION According to Conserve Energy Future, the actual operation of a nuclear power plant emits less than 1% of the nation's total carbon dioxide emissions. To explain, here are the reasons: Although matter can be transformed into another form, the total amount of mass remains constant, as stated by the law of conservation of mass. Nuclei, made up of protons and neutrons, account for nearly all an atom's mass. The Thornton, two nuclei of an atom, is the source of nuclear energy. The mass of an atom is converted into energy as a result of this. For nuclear power, fission is the most common method of production. In the event of a slow-moving neutron striking an atom of uranium235, the atom splits in half and releases more neutrons. Excessive thermal radiation is released when the nucleus disintegrates (heat) (“How Nuclear Energy Works – Conserve Energy Future”). To put it another way, the self-sustaining chain reaction generates enough heat to bring water to a boil and power the steam turbines that generate electricity. Since no combustion occurs in a fission reaction, the energy produced has virtually no impact on the environment compared to other energy sources like coal and natural gas. In light of nuclear power's comparatively small direct carbon footprint, it's worth considering why the technology isn't used more widely. Even though nuclear power is one of the most environmentally-friendly forms of energy, it has its drawbacks. Concerning nuclear energy is the issue of what to do with radioactive waste. Spent nuclear fuel is dangerously radioactive and will remain so for thousands of years after it has been removed from the reactor's waste stream. According to whatisnuclear.com, you would die of acute radiation sickness within a few days if you stood just meters away from spent nuclear fuel as it emerged from the reactor because it is so toxic when it is first exposed to the outside world. The accident that took place at Three Mile Island in 1979 and the accident that took place at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine on April 26, 1986, tied for the title of the worst nuclear accident in the annals of history, respectively (Conserve Energy Future, 2015). Then, in 2011, there was yet another catastrophe at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. Although there were only a few casualties, the resulting environmental damage was significant. Humans and the environment continue to suffer as a result of its ill effects. Despite the numerous safeguards in place, these nuclear power plants experienced meltdowns, resulting in catastrophic consequences for the environment and the people who lived nearby and were forced to flee their homes. People and the environment can be seriously harmed by the radioactive waste that is produced. CONCLUSION The problem of how to safely dispose of highly radioactive spent fuel is a contentious issue that is frequently cited as an argument against the utilization of nuclear power. The protection of both people and the environment should be prioritized when it comes to the management and disposal of radioactive waste. Recycling radioactive waste is one of the methods that can be utilized in the process of getting rid of radioactive waste. This is a method that is predominantly used in the countries of Europe. The uranium and plutonium are extracted from the waste through a process called recycling. These elements are then prepared for reuse in a nuclear reactor. A multiplebarrier geological disposal plan is the second option for safely removing radioactive waste from the environment. The radioactive materials are kept separate from the biosphere by the multiplebarrier disposal plans for thousands of years until the radioactive content of the materials has degraded to an acceptable level (World Nuclear Association, 2016). As consumers, we have a responsibility to consider the impact that our energy choices will have on subsequent generations. Even in the hands of morally upstanding citizens, nuclear power carries the possibility of producing enormous benefits as well as catastrophic drawbacks. The use of nuclear power presents a significant opportunity for us to cut back on our carbon emissions. Despite the challenges of disposal and the risks posed by radiation, it should be one of the many sources on which we continue to rely. REFERENCES What is Nuclear Energy? (2022). Retrieved from Conserve Energy Future: https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/hownuclearenergyworks.php The problem of nuclear waste. (2020, April 7). Retrieved from The Naked Scientists: https://www.thenakedscientists.com/articles/interviews/problem-nuclear-waste Radioactive Waste Management. (2016). Retrieved from World Nuclear Association: https://world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/nuclear wastes/radioactivewaste-management.aspx What is U.S. electricity generation by energy source? (2021). Retrieved from U.S Energy Information Administration: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3 Pros and Cons of Nuclear Energy. (2022). Retrieved from Conserve Energy Future: https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/pros-and-cons-ofnuclear energy.php#:~:text=As%20of%20today%2C%20nuclear%20energy,sources% 20like%20coal%20power%20plants. Jacobson , M. Z. (2021). The 7 reasons why nuclear energy is not the answer to solve climate change. 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