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Nuclear Power and Radioactive Contamination

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DOI: 10.4236/jep.2014.53021    3,921 Downloads   6,259 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Nuclear power was designed to produce electric power. Each part of the chain from uranium mining to handling of the waste is linked to serious contamination risks, however. Uranium mining is generally linked to local to regional contamination. The fuel production also produces depleted uranium at a ratio of 1:7. The reactors are operating under danger of accidents. Numerous minor accidents and endless temporary shut-downs are occasionally mixed with disastrous accidents. The Chernobyl (1986) and Fukushima (2011) accidents are notorious. The radioactive contamination from those accidents is still incomprehensible and will keep serious destructions of the environment for centuries to come. The handling of the high-level nuclear waste remains unsolved. Methods proposed in Sweden, Finland and France seem likely to lead to disastrous radioactive contaminations in the future. The only way out of this dilemma seems to be a disposal where the waste, though effectively sealed-off in the bedrock, remains accessible and controllable. At present, the “cost & benefit” balance seems strongly tilted over to the “far too costly side”, however.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

N. Mörner, "Nuclear Power and Radioactive Contamination," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 5 No. 3, 2014, pp. 175-180. doi: 10.4236/jep.2014.53021.

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