One advantage of using nuclear energy is that it is friendly to the climate since it can generate electricity without releasing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Apart from the fact that nuclear energy is actually more hazardous than coal, there are massive dangers that are associated with nuclear power partly because of exaggerated fear and misunderstanding.  Nonetheless, safety concerns with the use of nuclear power are mainly attributed to fears that nuclear power plants could accidentally release radiation; fear of reactor accidents as well as the concern of disposal of radioactive waste.

Primarily, the central issue in nuclear power arises from the health effects of radiation. The technology behind nuclear power is radioactive meaning that they emit radiations. Nuclear radiations are capable of penetrating into the human body where they can cause damage to human cells. It is estimated that radiation is estimated to cause at least 1% of all cancers and is likely to increase the rate in the near future at the same time reducing life expectancy. There is also the possibility that exposure to radiation instigates birth defects, incidences of brain malformation, radiation diseases, genetic and chromosome injury, an increase in stillbirths and infant mortality. Additionally, later-born children are sometimes mentally retarded and have stunted growth. Study affirms that an insignificant amount of cancer deaths in Japan can be attributed to nuclear bombs after-effects. To date, The Japanese government recognizes an insignificant number of its population as still having illnesses caused by radiation. Apart from health concerns, there are also concerns that relate to environmental health. Generally, nuclear power plants utilize water from local rivers and lakes for cooling so as to dissipate heat. Ordinarily, excess water from cooling reactors is released back into the waterways at very high temperatures. The water may be polluted by heavy metals and salts that may potentially disrupt marine life.

Risks from reactor accidents are also of crucial concern. Ordinarily, nuclear reactors may result from a meltdown.  A meltdown is an accident that occurs from severe overheating of the nuclear reactors’ core. Possibly, a meltdown may occur if there is a defect in the reactors cooling system that allowed one or more nuclear fuel elements to stretch beyond the melting point. If meltdowns occurred then nuclear power plants could release radiation into the atmosphere. A nuclear meltdown may result in thousands and millions of deaths. High radiation doses can potentially destroy body functions and result in death. The other danger imposed by nuclear power is pegged on terrorist attacks. Since the September 11th, 2001 bombing there has been a widespread fear that terrorist may target nuclear reactors aiming to release radioactive materials. It’s hypothetical how nuclear reactors may react to terrorist attacks. Generally, containment walls surrounding nuclear reactors are made of inner steel lining that is typically reinforced by five feet concrete. Such have the capacities to withstand earthquakes, plane crashes, tornadoes and even plane crashes.