Nuclear is required to produce steam to

Nuclear power is a well know method of energy production in today’s world. Nuclear power plants generate heat that is required to produce steam to move turbines through the process of nuclear fission. This process includes splitting uranium atoms in a nuclear reactor which releases large amounts of energy (, Jan 12 ). This process is quite effective compared to other methods of energy production due to the ability to generate huge amounts of energy from very little fuel. The impact of the process of generating energy through this method is quite minimal as well, as it doesn’t lead to greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change is a major problem in the modern world, which has the potential to endanger the very existence of humans on Earth. Therefore, it seems reasonable to opt for solutions which help minimize factors that engender such problems. Although the benefits of nuclear power are numerous, it does bring along with it some serious implications which could pose serious threats to the environment as well as people. The risk lies in the disposal of nuclear waste. This is material that is left over after the process of nuclear fission has been executed. If disposed of improperly, this waste could cause numerous problems that would have a negative impact on humans and the environment around them. Disposal of this waste is expensive, which could encourage some companies to dispose of the waste in the most feasible, yet not necessarily the safest way. Nuclear waste has a long half-life, which means that it remains radioactive and therefore hazardous for hundreds or thousands of years (conserve energy future, Jan 13) (and science textbook Jan 14). Therefore, it is very important to take appropriate measures for the proper disposal of nuclear waste to prevent any harm to humans or the environment. Nuclear waste is directly related to science and technology because it is a byproduct of the industrial use of nuclear substances for generating power and other purposes. Advancements in science and technology allowed us to harness the energy from atoms for our daily uses such as the production of electricity. Since it’s first use as a source of energy after World War II (world, several advancements have been made to the technology used in nuclear reactors in order to make the process more efficient and less harmful. Nuclear reactor designs have also improved significantly since their initial use. Newer models are cheaper and quicker to assemble. In addition, they consist of “inbuilt, passive safety features, are more efficient, and produce considerably less waste, along with the potential for running proliferation-resistant fuel cycles” ( All of these features can be and are being applied to many other machines that are used today. Furthermore, the issue of nuclear waste continues to encourage scientists to look for alternative ways of disposal or reusing the radioactive material, which could lead to groundbreaking advancements in science and technology in the near future. Nuclear scientists have a goal to effectively generate nuclear energy while reducing the impact of its waste as it is perhaps one of the solutions to our rapidly growing energy demand. Scientists continue to explore alternative methods of disposal and ways to perhaps reduce the radioactivity of the waste or reuse it. Nuclear transmutation is being tested currently as a method to destroy the waste. Studies of the nucleus which have been engendered for further insight into the field also continue to increase our knowledge and understanding of the essential laws of nature and how the universe evolved. All of this information helps us get an insight into humans as well as provide solutions to global problems. Additionally, nuclear research has continued to lead to the development of new isotopes and methods that have become essential analytical tools in medicine and industrial purposes. ( waste is difficult to dispose of. If the disposal of the waste is done in a responsible way, chances of negative impact of the waste are minimal. However, improper disposal of this waste is common and accidents can also occur, which has a direct impact upon the environment. The waste that is stored in huge cylindrical containers underground is usually safe, however natural occurrences such as earthquakes or even human errors can lead to leakage of the waste. Nuclear waste is extremely hazardous and can lead to cancerous growth and also genetic alterations or defects in animals and plants, which would affect many of their future generations. Since the waste is stored underground, it is also quite possible that leakage of the waste can pollute groundwater. This can lead to several problems for the animals and plants that depend on the water in that area or nearby areas as this water can easily pollute nearby ponds, rivers and lakes etc. (conserve energy future, Jan 13). Upon consumption of the harmful waste by smaller marine animals, the radioactive material would become more concentrated through biomagnification. Biomagnification is when smaller animals consume a pesticide or other chemical and it accumulates as it moves up through the food chain, with the top level predators having the highest concentration, and thus being the ones with the greatest risk. Increased concentration of the radioactive material in high level predators could cause endangerment or even extinction of these species in case of extreme consequences. Less dire situations could include genetic defects in their offspring, which would also have a lasting impact upon the species’ future generations. The possible effects of such a disaster can be foreseen if previous nuclear-related accidents are acknowledged. A severe example of this is the Chernobyl disaster, which was a devastating nuclear accident that took place 1986. Its effects can still be seen in animals that had been affected by the radiation of the hazardous nuclear material. Some of the effects on wildlife include “reduced brain sizes, physical deformities, and other concerns that impact the survival of these creatures.” (conserve energy. Com- disposal methods). Pollution of the water would not only have an impact on the environment, but also on people. The importance of water for human existence is largely indisputable but it is limited and a scarce commodity in our world. This kind of pollution can cause global problems which would aggravate current water-related problems such as water scarcity that have been caused due to a proliferating population. Furthermore, as previously mentioned, nuclear waste is extremely hazardous and can lead to cancerous growth. Radiation from the waste that is stored deep underground can also reach the surface and can harm humans, even causing changes in human DNA. These threats could lead to unprecedented challenges for humanity. Crops could also be affected due to water pollution. The local reduction in food production could cause starvation and malnutrition with long-term health consequences, especially for children. Nuclear waste related impacts on human health could lead to the displacement of a large number of people, creating environmental refugees. Moreover, the polluted water would quickly be transmitted by moving water bodies such as rivers. This waste could kill fish and other sea creatures that are eaten by humans. This could have serious implications for the fishing business which would affect people employed in the fishing industry and have a negative impact on society. If the fish manage to survive, the defects caused by the radiation of the waste could also cause harm to humans upon consumption of the food. Biomagnification could present serious issues for humans due to extremely high concentrations of the radioactive waste in predators. Nuclear waste contains extremely poisonous elements such as plutonium. Only a milligram of plutonium could prove fatal for a human. If this waste spills, humans who have to clean it up will certainly be affected by exposure as well. In most cases, exposure to levels of radiation can affect many of the future generations of the people, as it can lead to significant birth and growth disabilities. Some examples of these problems include down syndrome, thyroid cancer, and several other issues, which have commonly been found in people exposed to such radiation. (¬†Nuclear waste can remain radioactive for hundreds or even thousands of years. Therefore, appropriate steps must be taken in order to ensure the safety of all. Improper disposal of the waste can lead to many problems regarding humans and the natural environment, with long-term consequences such as birth defects and diseases. Consequently, proper disposal of the waste should be a priority for nuclear companies that generate nuclear energy and this cannot be disregarded merely for economic benefit.¬†