Nuclear Power Plants are Safe

671 Words3 Pages
Nuclear fission was discovered in the 1930s and, with that discovery it opened the doors to an exciting new field of energy production. When first discovered, it was so misunderstood that some children’s toys actually included live radioactive material. However, we learned from our mistakes and moved forward. Today, nuclear reactors that produce electricity for the populace are common in big cities, in some rural areas, but how safe are they really? This question is being brought up again by the events in Japan with the nuclear reactors there. Are the reactors in use today any safer and are we in any danger from them? When the word nuclear reactor is mentioned in passing today, it is usually associated with giant, concrete cooling towers emitting torrents of steam, a mushroom cloud rising high into the sky, or even Homer Simpson asleep at the control panel. Nuclear energy is so much more than that. When first discovered it was praised as being a low-cost, low mission alternative to fossil fuels, which is extremely good for the entire, but today with the threat of nuclear meltdowns, safety has become a key issue. ”In the United States, 104 nuclear power plants supply 20% of the electricity overall, with some states benefiting more than others.” (Brain, Lamb 1) With that many reactors in the United States alone, people have a right to know if operations are conducted safely. That information can be quite worrying to some, but when we actually look at the track record of nuclear power, another side is told. In the World Nuclear Association’s Safety of Nuclear Power Reactors it states there have been two major reactor accidents in the history of civil nuclear power - Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. One was contained without harm... ... middle of paper ... ...d Robert Lamb. "HowStuffWorks "How Nuclear Power Works"" HowStuffWorks - Learn How Everything Works! Web. 17 Mar. 2011. . World Nuclear Association. "Safety of Nuclear Reactors." World Nuclear Association | Nuclear Power - a Sustainable Energy Resource. Jan. 2011. Web. 17 Mar. 2011. . Sanger, David E., Matthew L. Wald, and Hiroko Tabuchi. "US Calls Radiation 'Extremely High;' Sees Japan Nuclear Crisis Worsening." The New York Times 17 Mar. 2011. New York Times. 16 Mar. 2011. Web. 17 Mar. 2011. . "Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Oversight of Nuclear Power Plant Safety Has Improved, but Refinements Are Needed: GAO-06-1029." GAO Reports (2006): 1. Business Source Premier. EBSCO. Web. 18 Mar. 2011.
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