Risks And Benefits Of Nuclear Technology Environmental Sciences Essay

Towards the realisation of vision 2020, the industrial sectors in Malaysia had been turning daily. This phenomenon increased the demands for energy or the electricity. For now, harmonizing to the Ministry of Energy, Water and Communication ( 2005 ) , the major constituents of Malaysia ‘s electricity coevals are from natural gas ( 62.3 % ) , coal ( 28.1 % ) , hydro ( 6.7 % ) , Diesel ( 1.5 % ) and fuel oil ( 1.4 % ) . However, as the industries and the population are turning in a really rapid rate, the energy produced will be deficient to provide our turning demands. The dodo fuel in our state is non-renewable natural resource and it is finite and will finally complete while our state ‘s current fuel mix for power coevals is skewed excessively much in favour of natural gas and coal ( Razak, 2010 ) . For this purpose alternate resource for energy had to be resolved. Early on this twelvemonth, a program for atomic energy resource had been suggested and it had been a polemic among the bookmans, politicians and besides among the populace. For illustration, former Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had warned about the danger of prosecuting atomic energy and urged the governments to give this option a 2nd idea, mentioning we do non cognize plenty about atomic energy to be able to pull off it good ( Mohammad, 2009 ) .

One of the hazards in atomic engineering is the consequence of its accident. Nuclear engineering is so really unsafe and really powerful. Unlike other energy resource, atomic engineering merely needs one accident to go forth an inauspicious consequence that could last for multiple coevalss. Taking Chernobyl atomic accident as illustration, it had been recorded that the catastrophe is really annihilating and had taken many guiltless lives. The terrible release of radiation did non merely affected people populating in Ukraine, but besides those life in other states in Europe as the radioactive dust clouds were blown to the part. Radioactive atoms can be easy carried by H2O and air current. So, even if the atomic power works is located offshore, the radioactive effects can still make people populating on the mainland. The radioactive atoms have long half life. Majority of the subsisters from the Chernobyl catastrophe had malignant neoplastic disease. From twelvemonth 1992 to 2002, 4000 instances of thyroid malignant neoplastic disease are recorded among the subsisters and bulk of them were kids ( Kinley, 2006 ) .

Another hazard in execution of atomic engineering is happening the suited location to construct the atomic reactor and the radioactive waste disposal. Location for constructing the atomic reactor will be a really high hazard topographic point and any error will turn out fatal. Besides accident such as escape, other menace such as terrorist act and sabotage should besides be taken into history. High security must be imposed so as to forestall any action affecting sabotage and terrorist act onslaught. Escape from the reactor will non merely impact the vegetations and fauna nearby but besides will be fatal towards the nearby civilians. Escape from atomic reactor if non detected earlier will be fatal to nearby civilian and besides to its worker. The radioactive atomic waste is really harmful and can be fatal to populating animals. Exposure to this radioactive atomic waste can do malignant neoplastic disease and mutant. Therefore, proper waste direction has to be planned out to forestall any unwanted accident affecting the radioactive atomic waste and human existences. By and large, radioactive atomic waste is to be deposited in deep geological storage sites. The intent is to forestall the waste from come ining the biosphere as to minimise the impact to the ecosystem. Even though atomic waste has a long half life, it will disintegrate over times while arsenic or quicksilver – another type of stable chemical waste will non disintegrate and last forever ( Comby, 2006 ) . In the United States, Mount Yucca had been selected to be the lasting chamber to hive away the atomic waste. In the twelvemonth 2009, it had been estimated that the Mount Yucca stored around 50,000 metric ton of atomic waste. However, in early 2009, President Barack Obama has announced to end the Yucca Mountain Program while developing a disposal alternate, but this will merely be implemented if the alternate methods are found and when the depository are full ( U.S Nuclear regulative Commission, 2009 ) . However, in Malaysia, do we hold this type of geological landmark in which we can utilize to dump the atomic waste? Will any State voluntary to be a topographic point to lodge the atomic waste?

In order to discourse the benefit of atomic engineering, we foremost need to cognize a spot about our electricity generator. Harmonizing to the Energy Information Bureau, two of the most celebrated H2O dikes in Malaysia – the Temenggor Dam which is situated at Gerik, Perak and Sultan Mahmud Power Station which is situated at the Tasik Kenyir, Terengganu take up approximately 152 km2 and 370 km2 each. The hydroelectric dikes can bring forth at one clip 384 MW and 400 MW of electricity severally. In order to construct these two dikes, a large country of wood had to be cut down and small towns evacuated. The Bakun Dam in Sarawak is expected to open and run in 2011 and the building of this dike takes up 695 km2 which is about every bit large as the whole Singapore which is at 707 km2. The Bakun dike is expected to bring forth 2400 MW of electricity at 1 clip. Comparing these dikes with the atomic power workss, taking the Ikata Nuclear Plant for illustration, the building of the works takes up 18 km2 and it consists of three atomic reactors. Among these three reactors, two of them produce 566 MW and one of them produces 860 MW and if these three reactors combine, can bring forth 2022 MW at one clip which is bigger than Temenggor Dam and Sultan Mahmud Power Station add up but utilizing far less infinite for the power works ( Japan ‘s Nuclear Power Programme. 2007 ) . From here we can reason that by implementing the atomic engineering for bring forthing electricity, we can salvage 100s to 1000s of hectare of forest land and small town to bring forth electricity for our day-to-day use.

Beside that, there are other benefits if atomic energy is to be implemented. In twelvemonth 2007, France had been voted as the industrialised state with the cleanest air and France besides reprocesses its atomic waste to cut down its mass and do more energy. From here, atomic energy is considered as a clean energy because it does non bring forth nursery gas such as the C dioxide therefore does non lend to air pollution. Nuclear reactor produces high sum of energy utilizing little sum of uranium therefore supplying inexpensive energy resource for the consumers. In general, coal and atomic workss have equal operating cost in term of operation and care including the fuel costs. However, atomic has lower fuel cost comparison to char but higher in operating and care costs ( Comby, 2006 ) . One gm of uranium green goodss as much energy as one ton of coal or oil. From here, we can reason that, since U is a really abundant resource on Earth, 35 times more than Ag, atomic energy is much more sustainable than fossil fuel.

As a decision, execution of atomic energy can be reconsidered if there are no other option. Even though in history, we had been taught of the Chernobyl catastrophe but after the incident, even though there had been slow down in atomic engineering promotion in the Soviet Union but it did non halt the promotion of atomic engineering in other portion of the universe peculiarly the European states, Japan and the United State. So far, non many accidents had been reported from Taiwan and Japan which are in the danger zone or the seismal zone and they are presently runing really successfully. Every engineering has their ain danger and if we are careful and efficient plenty, we do n’t hold to be afraid to step into the unknown.