The Controversy of Nuclear Power essay
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This research paper investigates the literature on nuclear power. In particular, the paper seeks to estimate the potential danger that nuclear warfare could cause to the world and humanity. According to the literature, nuclear warfare is military technique that involves detonating nuclear weaponry on an opponent. This technology has been found to be too destructive to the immediate as well as long-term lives of humans exposed to the radiation that is released from the detonations. As such, its use in war must be strictly discouraged in the strongest terms possible if the next generation is to inherit a sustainable globe (Pfau, 1984).
Nuclear power has been proposed as the source of energy alternative to fossil fuels. This idea gained great momentum at the heat of the debate on global warming in the early 1990’s. Indeed, this technology would have saved the world from the greenhouse gases that continue to pose environmental threats as it is considered a clean source of energy. In fact, proponents continue to argue that nuclear energy should urgently replace fossil fuels in generating electricity. However, it remains a delicate problem due to the possibility of the technology being abused by nuclear terrorists in an attempt to destroy the world. For instance, Pakistan has been kept under international surveillance due to the possibility of their nuclear technology ending up in the hands of global terrorists like Al Qaeda. That is why the United Nations has taken a leading role in regulating the exploitation and the use of nuclear technology so that it is not used in nuclear weaponry (Beardsley, 2006).
The radiation that is released from nuclear weaponry poses a great threat to the atmosphere since it causes atmospheric destruction. The effects of this destruction could persist for generations and they manifest themselves as a condition commonly known as nuclear winter. Ideally, nuclear weaponry can kill a great multitude of people within a very short period of time. For instance, the nuclear explosions that were used at the end of World War II by the US killed over 200,000 people in Japan. Although the military argue that it would quickly force opponents to surrender, the technology poses a great danger if totally embraced. For instance, if both opponents at war decide to use nuclear detonators on each other, virtually the whole world would be endangered (Bodansky, 2004).
The resultant radiation has an intrinsic effect on the genetic structure of all living organisms. It causes mutations that are then passed on to the next generations as abnormalities. For instance, the Japanese people feel this effect up to the present. These manifest as abnormal development of various organs in the body including the reproductive system. As such, an individual who was properly fertile before exposure to nuclear radiation could easily be rendered infertile after the exposure as their reproductive organs cease to function normally. Alternatively, their reproductive systems could remain normal but the babies that they give birth to would have serious congenital anomalies. In some instances, these babies may only be able to survive for a few hours. This certainly poses a serious threat to the very existence of the next generations considering that these effects are cumulative (Findlay, 2010).
In conclusion, the use of nuclear power will remain untenable for several years to come. This would majorly be due to the terror threat obvious throughout the world. For instance, the Al Qaeda would use every opportunity they get to detonate nuclear weapons on the American people. As such, the United Nations must continue to put stringent regulations on the exploitation and use of nuclear power (Johnston, 2007).