By Suhas AR:
Rewind back to 2011, Fukushima in Japan was the scene of disaster as an earthquake of 8.9 on the Richter scale and the subsequent tsunami overwhelmed the cooling systems of an aging nuclear plant resulting in a disaster. It triggered a large number of explosions, massive radiation leaks and everyone in the vicinity had to be evacuated.
Fukushima was just one of the many nuclear tragedies. Tokaimura Nuclear Accident (September 99), an explosion in the Siberian city of Tomsk (April 93), Goinia in Brazil ( September 87) and The Chernobyl Disaster (April 86) which resulted in a radioactive fallout 400 times more than that caused by the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima are some of the other instances of nuclear tragedies that have happened over time.
That gives rise to the question? Given the fact that the potential effects of a nuclear disaster are so devastating and tragic, is it even worth the risk? The answer in my opinion is a resounding No.
Despite all the safety precautions that maybe taken, there can be no guarantee against disaster when it comes to nuclear power. The aftereffects of a nuclear disaster are also manifold and are felt for generations to come. As a responsible people/society, we have to ensure that such disasters do not take place and the only way we can ensure that is by shunning Nuclear Power. The issue of dumping nuclear waste is also a massive issue, finding a location to dump waste is difficult enough and if the disposal is not done properly, it has harmful consequences.
To solve our electricity needs, we have many different sources which could solve all our energy woes. We also need to make use of renewable sources of energy like solar power, wind power, geothermal power, hydroelectric and various other forms of power that are far less dangerous than Nuclear power, we need to ensure they are used more. To fulfill our energy requirements, nuclear power is not a necessity.
Considering all of this, the German government decided to shut down all of its nuclear reactors by 2022, making it the largest industrial power to do so. More and more governments need to do the same to ensure that none of their citizens are harmed by any inadvertent tragedy.
According to Shaun Burnie, nuclear adviser for environmental campaign group Greenpeace International, “The various studies from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that renewables could deliver, basically, global electricity by 2050.” This shows that the future is Green, not nuclear. We need to work towards that to make it happen!
I would like to conclude by quoting Stanford University Professor Mark Z. Jacobson “If our nation wants to reduce global warming, air pollution and energy instability, we should invest only in the best energy options. Nuclear energy isn’t one of them.”