9 Haziran 2011 Perşembe

Nuclear Energy: Angel or Devil?

In the text “The Benefits of Nuclear Energy” mentions about positive aspects of nuclear energy. Comby (n.d.) states when sources are considered including fossil fuels, wind and solar to satisfy energy consumption of natural world, nuclear energy is an alternative and competitive source. He discusses the fact that if nuclear’s features are examined; it is a safe, reliable and durable source. Moreover, nuclear is a clean energy type in terms of waste, pollution and impact on natural balance of the world. I agree with the wrier that nuclear power should be used quickly to replace fossil fuels in the industrial countries, and eventually in the developing countries.

I agree with the writer that nuclear energy is spearheading energy among alternative energies for future. In current conditions, human beings are using fossil fuels, nuclear energy, solar, wind and biofuels. In the text, Comby specifies that “85% of the world’s energy is provided by the fossil fuels, coal, oil and gas”. However, it is a known fact that fossil fuels will be exhausted within the next few years. At this point, nuclear energy becomes forefront. Firstly, unlike fossil fuels, nuclear energy is a renewable energy. When energy resources and needs of the world are considered except fossil fuels, many people accept that solar, wind and biofuels are insufficient sources for future. For this reason, nuclear energy has alternative source position with its renewable feature. Whitlock (1998) supports the benefit that “The fuel of nuclear energy is recyclable. Nuclear energy can, uniquely, create new fuel as it burns existing fuel, its own radiation converting ‘inert’ rock into usable material. Under the right circumstances it can even create more fuel than it uses” (para.10). Secondly, nuclear energy can be found easily and it is a long-term energy. Uranium is a building block of nuclear energy and an ubiquitous element in the world, so nuclear does not have shortage of raw materials. World Nuclear Association (2011) encourages that apart from the top three including Australia, Kazakhstan and Canada, countries are in order in terms of resource: Russia, South Africa, Namibia, Brazil, Niger, USA, China, Jordan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine and India” (p.5). Also, Comby talks that “Most reactors are designed for a life of 40 years; many are reaching that age in good condition and extensions of 20 years have usually been granted”. Therefore, nuclear energy is the basic energy source in the sources for the future.

I addition to being alternative energy, I agree with the writer that nuclear energy is safe and clean energy for natural world and humanity. Now, security and cleaning are two of the most important criteria not only in energy consumption but also in every area. If these criteria are evaluated, nuclear energy stands out again. First of all, when accidents are considered, nuclear energy is more reliable than others. Until now, there have been three important nuclear accidents. The most harmful was second-Chernobyl, because measures were not taken. However, the world changed and became awareness. For example, according to Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, third accident- Fukushima its rating is same with Chernobyl became owing to a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and released radiation nearly 14 times less than Chernobyl. Also, there was no death due to radiation, but in Chernobyl, there was many people (as cited in BBC, 2011). Unlike nuclear, if all accidents about fossil fuels are considered, these are more harmful than nuclear. There is similar relation like plane and car accidents between fossil fuels and nuclear. Secondly, nuclear energy gives less damage to the natural balance than fossil fuels in the universe. Comby points out that “Nuclear waste is to be deposited in deep geological storage sites, it does not enter biosphere”. Besides that, Ianello (2010) contributes the benefit “The process of using nuclear reactions to produce steam, which in turn is used to generate electricity, results in nearly zero carbon emissions. The burning of fossil fuels for energy, such as coal or natural gas plants, results in more severe carbon emissions” (para.1). Hence, displacement of fossil fuels and nuclear is useful for humanity.

All in all, there are viewpoints to replace fossil fuels with nuclear energy that I agree with in the text “The Benefits of Nuclear Energy”. I think that Comby makes realistic assessments about nuclear energy in terms of being alternative energy. Furthermore, when greenhouse effect, accidents and related topics about energy utilization are considered, nuclear energy is preferable energy instead of fossil fuels. Comby states that we have only this are fragile planet to live on, so usage of nuclear energy should be implemented as lifestyle and way of energy use for a livable world and future generations.


Whitlock, J. (1998). Nuclear Energy: The Green Alternative. Retrieved May 19, 2011, from http://www.nuclearfaq.ca/nukegreen.htm

World Nuclear Association (2011, February). What is uranium? How does it work? Retrieved May 19, 2011, from http://www.world-nuclear.org/education/uran.htm

BBC (April 12, 2011). How does Fukushima differ from Chernobyl? Retrieved May 19, 2011, from http://www.world-nuclear.org/education/uran.htm

Ianello, T. (2010, December 14). How to Reduce Carbon Emissions from Nuclear Energy Retrieved May 19, 2011 from http://www.ehow.com/how_7641537_reduce-carbon-emissions-nuclear-energy.html

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