Nuclear Power Plant Safety

March 10, 2010
By Anonymous

In 1945, the whole world shook as two bombs drastically changed the world. The two nuclear bombs that were dropped on the Japanese were only the first demonstration of nuclear power. Since then, scientists have turned their heads to more beneficial uses of nuclear energy. They discovered that the power of splitting an atom could actually help people, instead of killing them.

Since 1957, scientists have figured out how to make electricity from nuclear energy. The process is not as complex as it seems; splitting a radioactive atom in half creates an enormous amount of heat. The heat is then used to boil water in order to make steam. The steam is used to rotate a turbine generates to make electricity. Though process itself is simple, containing the reaction is different. Visiting a nuclear power plant can give the average person the chills. For some reason when people think of a nuclear power plant, they also think it’s unsafe when it comes to the workers and the public.

Nuclear power plants are very safe, despite people’s negative beliefs. Accidents, such as meltdowns, rarely happen. There are 32 different countries with nuclear power plants and over 12000 reactors with only a handful of incidents. As a matter of fact, only two major meltdowns have ever occurred: One on Three Mile Island, and
the other in Chernobyl. The incidents were the only two that have happen from 1970 to present day.

Also, a person needs a large does of radiation in order to cause a fatality. Standing right next to a nuclear reactor cannot kill a person. There simply isn’t enough RAD to kill someone. What most people don’t know is that the get more doses of radiation from common household devices. Overall, the average person gets about 60 RAD from microwaves, toasters, and even from drinking water a day. Now if you stood next to a nuclear reactor you would only get a third of the RADs. If drinking water that can produce up to 40 RADs and cannot kill you, then you can bet that standing right next to a reactor will not be fatal.

We have all seen your classical horror movie: a nuclear Apocalypse. A nuclear power plant just happens to meltdown, which sets off a chain reaction. The result would then be instant death to all the people inside the plant and also around it. In real life it doesn’t work that way. In 1986 Chernobyl, Ukraine, one of the two major meltdowns in history happened. It killed 31 people in total. Hardly the crisis you see in the movies. That incident proved to the world that no matter how big the meltdown was, it would not spread that far. Technology has also improved drastically with in the last 20 years. Power plants now days are filled with safety features that people back then could only dream of, such as radiation-proof, solid concrete walls, safer reactors, and sensors to detect the smallest leak of radiation.
My point is that nuclear power plants should not be feared as they are. Modern technology makes the slightest meltdown obsolete. There is simply no way a meltdown
could happen. Workers are trained to notice the smallest thing, while there are complex machines that can detect the smallest leak of radiation. Safety regulations have increased drastically. Everything has been done to ensure the safety of not only the workers, but the public also. For all of these reasons, people have nothing to fear about nuclear power plants.

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