Presentation on theme: "Nuclear Power Abir Abdulla SBI4U Fall 2009 Hill Park Secondary."— Presentation transcript:
Nuclear Power Abir Abdulla SBI4U Fall 2009 Hill Park Secondary
Why should we care? We are running out of fossil fuels, and the responsibility of finding an energy source for the future is everyone's responsibility; it's no longer just about governments, scientists and environmental organizations. What about nuclear power? Did you know that Canada has 18 nuclear reactors, and that 5 of them are located in Ontario? 15% of Canada's energy comes from Nuclear Power. Bruce Power Plant produces approximately 1/5 of Ontario's energy
How does it work? Nuclear reactors work through Nuclear Fission. The nuclei of atoms are split, releasing energy. Uranium is used as a main fuel source for nuclear reactors because it creates chain reactions. When the nucleus of a uranium atom is split, it releases many neutrons which split other uranium nuclei, and so on.
Environmental Effects Nuclear power plants do not produce any carbon emissions, unlike coal- powered plants. A nuclear plant, the same size as a 1000 megawatt coal plant, uses only 25 tons of uranium a year and produces more energy However, the environmental downside to Nuclear energy is the unavoidable accumulation of RADIOACTIVE NUCLEAR WASTE. This waste is stored at underground cooling pools at the nuclear reactors, but the methods of storage are very expensive and not exactly safe Nuclear waste at a dump site in Russia's Ural Mountains mysteriously exploded, killing and injuring many people A cooling tank at a nuclear Reactor in Graveline, France.
Economic Benefits/Disadvantages - costs of building plants can run into the billions -improved production processes allow the construction of “cookie cutter”plants, thus cutting back on costs - price of construction is still too high compared to the short life span of the power plants (only years)
Meltdowns, Accidents and Possible Threats Meltdowns occur when nuclear fission reactions go “out of control”, cause a nuclear explosion and the release of large amounts of radiation - negative feedback systems are used to shut down the reactors when the moderator in the core boils away Nuclear explosions don't just affect the immediate surrounding region around the plant; radiation can be spread by the wind into other areas. Many health problems arise from high levels of radiation, including genetic mutations, birth defects and cancer. Because of the hazardous consequences of possible nuclear accidents, there is widespread fear about terrorist attacks targeted at harming large amounts of people.
Chernobyl The explosion that occurred at Chernobyl, Ukraine in 1986 was a tragic case of human negligence that lead to the loss of many lives. The reactor's design itself was flawed, so when the meltdown occurred the reactor could not shut itself off. The resulting explosion and emission of radiation was the equivalent of 10 hiroshimas. Many people died immediately, others of cancer and diseases that they developed as a result of the high radiation levels they were exposed to. The projected death toll is estimated to be To this day, many people are still dying of exposure.
Ongoing Research, Beneficial Uses The Canadian developed CANDU reactor is more efficient than previous Nuclear Reactor models; it uses natural uranium as opposed to enriched uranium, cutting back on costs for enrichment. Due to its safer design and cheaper production costs, the CANDU reactor is in use in various countries across the world, such as India, South Korea and China. As research continues, Nuclear power will become more efficient, safe and cheap.
Ongoing Research, Beneficial Uses Nuclear Power is not only hazardous; there are beneficial uses for it and ongoing research being Conducted to improve the efficiency of reactors. Medicine In addition, Nuclear Reactors are essential for much scientific and medical research being conducted today. Radioisotopes are used to diagnose and treat various diseases and cancers, and are used as radiotracers for experiments in biological and chemical experiments.
What is your opinion? Think about whether the benefits outweigh the downsides Ultimately, consider the fact that nuclear power is not renewable. We will eventually run out of uranium, and then what? We should focus more of our resources and time into searching for renewable, safer and cheaper energy sources.