The Nuclear Disaster at Chernobyl

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Every Year, The United States is faced with the threat of a Nuclear disaster or equipment failure. Since the demand for energy increases, the federal government and private companies are forced to create more chemical plants. Further, each plant in operation poses an immediate threat to the drinking water and land around the area. According to the Energy Information Administration, America’s energy consumption in 2011 was thirteen times greater than it was in 1950. Currently, there are at least 65 active nuclear plants that operate within 31 states. With energy usage increasing at an alarming rate, the likelihood of a nuclear disaster occurring is a reality. It is important for citizens to know what the nuclear disaster is, what threats it might pose to its community, the effects of a nuclear catastrophe and the cleanup that will take place. A nuclear disaster is defined as an “unexpected nuclear event that can cause an increase in radioactive exposure or contamination”. In a nuclear power plant, a cooling system is in place to keep the fuel rods from overheating. The water used to cool the system evaporates, but is latter recycled to be used over again. If electricity is lost for any reason, the backup generators will kick in or the operators must manually add water to cool down the rods. In addition, control rods will be activated to stop any nuclear reactions, if there were a loss in power. In the event nuclear meltdown, the cooling rods will continue to heat because the cooling system is not able to bring its temperature to normal levels. At this stage, the water used to cool down the rods will evaporate before any human can add more water to it. Eventually the rods will continue to heat up until it burns... ... middle of paper ... ...aste is at a standstill because proposed projects from the Department of Energy has either stalled is not being funded. In November 2013, The US court of appeals made it illegal for the Department of energy to fine utility companies for nuclear waste fees. The ruling puts pressure on the federal government. The Department of Energy needs create a state of the art disposal site to store most of spent nuclear fuel. If not, then it can no longer fine companies to generate the money it needs. Preparing for a nuclear threat involves utilizing management and resources for emergency need. Enforcing laws that are designed to mitigate the damage cost by a disaster can only work if all levels of government regularly updates its procedures. When one department fails to do its job, it prevents other departments from enforcing regulations to the best of its ability.

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