What crosses your mind when you hear ‘nuclear technology’? a dangerous mass-destruction weapon? Or an alternative source of energy? That’s what most people think when they hear that word. That’s normal because the usage of nuclear technology is one of the hottest topics which is being discussed lately. Some people think it’s a good thing to learn and to use nuclear technology in order to have an alternative source of energy. But on the other hand, some people think it’s dangerous to do that because nuclear technology can bring disaster. Nuclear technology can be developed to make a dangerous mass-destruction weapon. Actually, there are some advantages and disadvantages of nuclear technology.
The first advantage of using nuclear technology is that nuclear reaction produces higher energy than energy which is produced from fossil fuel. As a comparation, the energy which is produced from nuclear reaction is 10 million times higher than the energy from fossil fuel. For example is a submarine. It uses nuclear as fuel. Imagine how much fuel they have to carry if it does not use nuclear as fuel.
The second advantage is nuclear reaction releases a small amount of carbon dioxide. That means nuclear reaction only has a small contribution for global warming. Compared to fossil fuel, nuclear reaction only releases a one-hundredth of carbon dioxide.
The third advantage is about the availability of uranium. The uranium that we use in nuclear reaction comes from mining, and its cost is not expensive. The number of uranium all over the world is predicted to last for 150 years to even hundreds years, depending on what type of reactor we use. For information, the reactor that we use now is still in developing phase. In the future, the reactor could recycle uranium that has already been used. It means we don’t have to use too much uranium to produce energy.
The fourth advantage is that nuclear technology is safer than conventional fuel. It is because nuclear technology only uses heat which comes from nuclear fission. That heat then heats water to produce steam. After that the steam turns the turbine to produce electric. And not only that, the waste material will also be buried to the ground. It means none of them will be released to the environment.
The first disadvantage of nuclear technology is toxic waste. The waste material from nuclear reaction releases radiation. There’s nothing we can do to remove this radiation. Although it is only small part of waste material, but it can affect environment and people. The waste must be buried and sealed for safety.
The second disadvantage is high risk of contamination. We have to pay much attention to the waste material safety system and nuclear power plant safety system. So we can reduce the risk of people being contaminated. It is technically impossible to build a 100% security because there is always human error. But at least we can reduce the chance of people and environment affected by the radiation.
Cost is also a drawback of nuclear technology. Although the cost to create energy from nuclear reaction is relatively cheap compared to fossil fuel, the cost to build a new nuclear power plant is quite expensive. And still we have to spend a lot of money in its operation system and its safety system.
One of the most feared disadvantages of nuclear technology is that nuclear technology is very potential for weapons. In every nuclear power plant all over the world, there are enough materials to make nuclear bombs. It could be very dangerous. That is why we should prevent this technology from being used by irresponsible people.
Those are the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear technology. It is up to us which source of energy we are going to use. As long as the people who use nuclear technology are the responsible ones, it could be very useful, but if it goes to wrong people, it could be very dangerous.