The Nuclear Cost
Up until the 1930s nuclear power was nothing more than ideas and theories written down on what could theoretically happen. With the dawn of nuclear power shortly after, the world has never remained the same. Nuclear power although efficient and very powerful, does have its drawbacks. Without the proper care it can be very dangerous and potentially harmful to everything. This idea is no more apparent than in a small town in the Ukraine called Chernobyl. It was here where the world experienced it first ever catastrophic nuclear accident. The meltdown occurred in the early morning hours of April of 1986 (Britannica). After the meltdown the environment not just around the site, but all around Europe and Russia became irreparably damaged.
Nuclear power revolves around the concept of bombarding radioactive uranium with neutrons causing the atoms to split into two separate atoms that release an enormous amount of energy as well as heat. In a nuclear reactor, control rods help limit the amount of neutrons being exposed to the uranium, thus limiting the amount of energy and heat being created. The heat created is then used to heat water and create steam that turn large turbines that create useable electrical energy. The problem with nuclear reactors is that they can “meltdown” which means the heat and energy contained in the reactor becomes too much for the control rods to control thus creating an explosion and the release of very harmful radiation into the air (Britannica). More than 15% of the world’s power, and 47% of the United States power, is created by nuclear power plants (International Energy Agency).
The Chernobyl accident was not quite a meltdown, but more of a combination of bad timing and human miscalculation that had devastating consequences. The day before the accident, engineers had set up a test in preparation for different scenarios regarding power outages. During the test, engineers were supposed to power...