My Nuclear Opinions
This week I have learned a lot about nuclear power plants. Along with these discoveries I’ve gathered some chilling factors about nuclear power as well. There are many risks and some very productive gains involved with nuclear power opposed to other types of power production such as: fossil, hydroelectric or solar. In this writing today I plan on covering all these facts along with what needs to be addressed when building a power plant of this type and locations that are suitable for these sites. When you get done reading I want you to be informed on as much knowledge about nuclear power and I would like to explain how my family and I feel about a nuclear power plant being about 5 miles away from my back door. So, please allow me to share with you my nuclear opinions starting off with the pro versus the cons.
The benefits of nuclear power
Whenever I see the words nuclear and power put together I get nervous. I’ve seen what nuclear power plants have done to the people in Japan who were exposed to very small amounts of radiation had been pre-filtered (Brook,2011). Though no one has died I suspect that there will be some health defects in the near future just wait and see. Nuclear power plants produce millions of jobs to the nation. In fact, I have listed a couple of numbers that will probably blow your mind. According to the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) pre-constructing a power plant involves over 14,000-15,000 jobs. Construction of nuclear power plants yield 20,000 direct construction jobs and operations after 2016 will produce 700 actual jobs multiplied by 16 (NEI,2011) . Uranium is the material that powers these power plants at the moment and we have about 500 years worth of uranium in supply (School of Physics, 2011). Next I will explain the bad things that I’ve learned about nuclear energy and its wastes.
The Not so good things about Nuclear Power
The not so good things about nuclear power were alarming and I had to tell you about it. The by-product of nuclear power is plutonium; this product can be used to refuel plants or to cause destruction to others in the form of weaponry (Lai and Morrison, 1998-2011). To me this alone is a very disturbing fact to know about this subject. There is always room for error when dealing with any type of power plant and its reproduction. One of the biggest fears I have is that while all this money is being made we will miss out on important control measures and that someday we will all have to pay for this. History proves that time after time we find out that inspectors were paid off not to inspect important things to cut the costs of repairs. This to me should not be allowed to happen with nuclear power, people’s lives are at danger here. Nuclear power plants pose as targets for terrorist and they are ideal if someone wanted to send a message of fear and destruction. Next I will give some guidelines of where nuclear power plants should be placed and what factors should be considered before building one of these plants.
Where power plants should be placed?
I think that the single most important factor to be considered would be the people. If the people don’t want anything to do with a nuclear power plant then don’t build one. Extensive research and casting of votes from every citizen in the community that the plant will built in is a must. I live next to the San Onofre nuclear power plant and it is located on the coast, so I’m going to take a wild guess and say that Nuclear plants must have access to water at all times. I remember reading about the nuclear meltdown in Japan and they needed a lot of water to cool those reactors off when they were overheating (Greenemeier, 2011). I’ve also noticed that the power plant that I live by is in a remote area (about 3-5 miles from any residential area), so I’m going to also assume that a good location for a plant will be away from residential areas and in a place where if something happened the local eco-system will not be harmed. The water also provides power for the turbines to spin at high velocity (Macintosh, A. 2007) as I read further I realized that there are zones for nuclear plants to have in order to protect the local community and they are: Zone 1 has to be approximately 1 kilometer away from the original facility. Zone 2 is to be five kilometers away from the plant, this is also known as the protective zone (Macintosh, A. 2007). There is an emergency planning zone (Zone 3) and this zone is about 20 kilometers away from the plant (Macintosh, A. 2007). The third zone is where I will be in case of an emergency evacuation performing the tasks that I have been trained to do in the military as a first responder and healthcare provider (in isolated situations). There is also heavy security near our plant in San Onofre, not to mention its right next to Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base. With all of these facts how would you feel if there was a nuclear power plant located 125 miles near you? I will explain how I would feel in the next paragraph.
If I was at least 125 miles away from a nuclear power plant I would feel safe as long as I knew that all safety precautions were being exercised with extreme measures. If I were within twelve miles away (which I am) I still wouldn’t feel threatened, I would want to see drills perfumed on the regular at least once a month. If I live within a mile and a half away from a plant I would simply move and not think twice about it, that’s just too close for comfort even as a first responder. The public should always be informed on the amount of waste being put out by a local plant, the effects on the local eco system (reported annually). The local community should also be allowed to take part in all drills concerning a nuclear meltdown of any type.
So, today I have informed you on the guideline of nuclear power plants, the pros and cons of having a nuclear power plant in your local area. I have also provided you with resources so that you make your own informed decisions on this subject. I hope that my personal experiences and knowledge with nuclear power will aid in the knowledge of people who are interested in this subject. In conclusion, nuclear power is the wave of the future rather we like it or not. There is a lot of money to be made and many jobs/careers that are involved with nuclear power; this will boost our economy significantly as long as it is done safely. We should do our homework now and aid with this movement to make sure that our most precious resources (the people) are not harmed in any way.
Retrieved on September 2nd, 2011 from http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/03/13/fukushima-simple-explanation/
Greenemeier, L., Is Seawater a Last Resort to Cooling Japan’s Nuclear Reactors? 2011, Retrieved on Sept 04 2011 from: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=japan-earthquake-tsunami-nuclear-seawater
Lai,L. and Morrison,K. Nuclear Age Peace Foundation(NAPF), 1998-2011, Nuclear Energy Factsheet. Retrieved on Sept 04 2011 from:
Nuclear Energy Institute, New Nuclear Plants: An Engine for Job Creation, Economic Growth 2011, And Retreived on September 3rd from: https://smr.inl.gov/ ocument.ashx
D Macintosh, A. 2007, Sitting Nuclear Power Plants in Australia, Australia Institute retrieved from: http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:KtJQ6WxxRoAJ:https://www.tai.org.au/documents/downloads/WP96.pdf+Where+power+plants+should+be+placed&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEEShZJm_Ke3XCbcBLEKeJdKTVndSbqAmpxvWFPEZaFlKB5q9B8CaukKbiaR-gXQpY6Ngox6-ENSXW2-Sg8fe4kQzsYzVSkJl2uTPnl00W8DprGU2bPh6Hsnjk5mWLejlhSQW_AlGd&sig=AHIEtbTEgo3dAB-EPRqS2McgpKHzJ4eRUA#
School of Physics, University of Melbourne, 2011. Everything you want to know about Nuclear Power. Retrieved September 4th, 2011 from: http://nuclearinfo.net/Nuclearpower/TheBenefitsOfNuclearPo