- Nuclear power and what you need to know about it, part two.
Did you read The History of Nuclear Power in Fun Facts: Part One? Because this is part two.
- A tea kettle is a good analogy for nuclear power.
- By the end of the 1950’s, 300 atomic bombs had been exploded in tests by multiple countries
- By the 1970’s, the buzz of nuclear energy fades as investors claim it’s just too expensive and too difficult to pull off.
- With the recession of the early 1970s, the US dollar weakens and the Middle East explodes into chaos making the oil prices soar. Energy demands surge without supply and fossil fuels weren’t looking so great.
- After that, people were all in on nuclear power. Between 1970 and 1985 more than half the nuclear reactors in the world today started construction during this period.
- Nuclear power plants are very expensive with the average cost of a small nuclear reactor at $750 million- and they can take decades to build.
- There is more waste to dispose of and a million cubic meters of waste was dumped into the ocean before being banned in 1993. It was said it would “dissipate over thousands of years.” But protesters claim there’s no way to know how much the damage it’s really doing to the water, fish and the implications for mankind.
- Three Mile Island, PA, had the US’s largest nuclear meltdown to date. Jammed relief valves cooked the core and the uranium melted. It was also the first nuclear meltdown in the US, and an estimated two million people were exposed, though no deaths were recorded.
- Public support for nuclear energy nosedives after the Three Mile Island incident.
- Between 1979-1988, construction cancelled on 67 planned nuclear power plants in America.
- April 26th, 1986 was the day of Chernobyl. With a safety test underway in reactor four and therefore the safety emergency systems turned off, there was a power surge and boom.
- 8 tons of radioactive fuel material was released into atmosphere, with the toxicity of the radioactive cloud equal to 400 Hiroshima bomb explosions. It reached as far as the UK.
- Japan is the only country to have been devastated with a nuclear bomb but by are more than happy to use the technology, and a lot of it. In the year 2000, Japan generated up to 30% of its total electricity using nuclear plants because nuclear energy is clean energy.
- Japan is on track to build more nuclear plants until March 2011, when an earthquake and tsunami flooded the east side of the country, and knocked out the cooling system. Another meltdown.
- It was said that the radiation was high enough to damage human health following the explosion and hundreds of billions of dollars was needed to clean up after it. The land was otherwise uninhabitable following the explosion.
- There are five official members of the Global Nuclear Club including the UK, China, France, Russia, and the USA.
- Four rogue nuclear nations that are supposed to be using nuclear energy only for power but have been caught testing weapons are Pakistan, North Korea, Israel and India
- There is a different type of nuclear energy- nuclear fusion inspired by the physics of the sun.
- Instead of splitting, it happens when atoms collide and nucleus fuse together. The process releases 3-4 times more energy than fission and none of the toxic residue.
- Nuclear power is still considered to be one of the best ways to wean from fossil fuels and there are 53 new nuclear power plants under construction world wide.
Are we playing with fire? Is nuclear power our last power source for long-term survival?
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