Monday, April 24, 2006

Nuclear power

In two days we will see the 20th anniversary of the largest man-made nuclear contamination the world as ever seen, a tragedy that released into the atmosphere more then 400 time the radioactive material that the nuclear bomb over Hiroshima did: the Chernobyl disaster. This coupled with the Iran nuclear fuel enrichment "crisis" bring the debate of the use of nuclear power as energy to the forefront, particularly in light of ever increasing gaz price.

(little note, everything below is about fission nuclear power, fusion bring another set of problem and as yet to be achieved so I won't talk about it.) Personally, I have only one problem with nuclear power and it is the waste, nuclear waste are clearly one of the worse type of waste human can produce (some with an half life in the thousand of year (meaning that after a thousand year half of the material as decayed into something else it means we have to make storage good for thousand of years, something that very few human structures have achieved for the moment). Until we can find a way to safely dispose or reuse those waste product great care as to be put into the control of the amongst of nuclear power we will use. Chernobyl is also a good reason for us to be weary of nuclear power plant project, it as shown that tragic mistake can easily take place and that they will have considerable impact on a very large region at least for a century and probably more. It will have an even more dramatic impact on the population of theses regions, luckily it appear the mutant and deformed baby we expected from Chernobyl never materialised but the still birth and sterility rate are scary.

However and finally I believe that nuclear power is something we should look into, even with all it problem it is safer for the environment then most other energy production methods. With proper security measure accident become relatively unlikely. It probably shouldn't not be our first choice in energy production but it is definitively an option.

No comments: