May 28, 2024

Valley Post

Read Latest News on Sports, Business, Entertainment, Blogs and Opinions from leading columnists.

Why nuclear power is not the answer to climate change

Why nuclear power is not the answer to climate change

* Article written by SUNY at Stony Brook Professor, Writer and Director Heidi Hutner and Photojournalist Erica Cerino Published in Time. Aeon is an online journal that asks big questions and seeks new answers and a fresh perspective on social reality, science, philosophy, and culture. NEWS 24/7 republishes a story every week for those who love original thinking on issues old and new.

In November 2018, the Woolsey Fire burned nearly 100,000 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, destroying forests, fields, more than 1,500 structures and displacing nearly 300,000 people in 14 days. He burned so badly that he created one sign On Earth it can be seen from space. The researchers found that The Woolsey Fire started at the Santa Susanna Field LaboratoryAnd Nuclear research feature which had been contaminated by a partial nuclear meltdown in 1959 in the failed sodium reactor experiment, as well as by missile tests and regular radioactive releases.

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) reported that air, ash, and soil measurements conducted on the property after the fire showed no radiation released above reference levels for the contaminated site. But the DTSC report lacks enough information, according With the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. It includes “few actual measurements” of fire smoke, and the data is alarming. research Chernobyl in Ukraine after the 2015 fires shows clear emission of radiation from the aging nuclear power plant, calling into question the quality of the DTSC measurements. In addition to scholars such as Nikolaos Evangelio who Stady Radioactivity emissions from the fires at the Norwegian Air Research Institute indicate that the same hot, dry, windy conditions that exacerbated the Wolsey fire (all linked to human-caused global warming) An introduction to future climate-relevant radioactivity releases.

With our climate-driven world now highly susceptible to wildfires, severe storms, and rising sea levels, nuclear energy has been promoted as a potential alternative to burning fossil fuels for energy, which is the main cause of climate change. Nuclear capability can be demonstrated decrease carbon dioxide emissions. However, the scientific evidence and recent disasters They wonder if nuclear power can operate safely in our warming world. Wild weather, wildfires, rising sea levels, earthquakes, and rising water temperatures increase the risk of nuclear accidents, while the lack of safe, long-term storage of radioactive waste remains a continuing risk.

See also  Scientists have created a robot that drools and passes through the rails (video)

The Santa Susana Field Laboratory property has had a long history of soil and groundwater contamination. An advisory group was formed in 2006 exhibition Which suggests that lab workers, as well as residents who live nearby, had unusual exposure to radiation and industrial chemicals linked to an increased incidence of certain cancers. The discovery of the contamination prompted DTSC in California in 2010 to demand cleaning The website is by its current owner – Boeing – with the assistance of the US Department of Energy and NASA. but, The required cleaning was hampered by legal battle Boeing For a less strenuous cleaning performance.

Like the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, Chernobyl has been largely unrepaired since the 1986 disaster. Every year, dead material builds up at the plant and temperatures rise, making it particularly vulnerable to fires in an era of climate change. Radioactive releases from contaminated land and forests can travel thousands of kilometers away to population centersAccording to the Bible.

Kate Brown, a historian at MIT and author of Survival Guide: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future (2019), and Tim Musso, an evolutionary biologist at the University of South Carolina, have serious concerns about wildfires. “Records show that there have been fires in the Chernobyl zone that have increased levels of radioactivity by 7 to 10 times since 1990.“And to the north, melting glaciers contain,” Brown says.Radioactive waste from global nuclear tests and nuclear accidents is at levels ten times higher than anywhere else“.As the ice caps melt, radioactive flux flows into the ocean, is absorbed into the atmosphere, and falls as acid rain.”With the fires and the melting snow, we are basically paying off the radioactive waste debt we incurred during the frantic production of nuclear byproducts in the 20th century.Brown concludes.

Floods are another symptom of our global warming that could lead to a nuclear catastrophe. Many nuclear plants are built on coasts where it is easier to use sea water as a coolant. Sea level rise, coastal erosion, storms and heat waves – all potentially catastrophic events associated with climate change – are expected to become more frequent as the Earth continues to warm, Coastal nuclear power plants threaten even greater damage. “The mere absence of greenhouse gas emissions is not sufficient to assess nuclear energy as a means of mitigating climate changeNatalie Kopetko and John Perkins concluded a job τους “Climate Change, Nuclear Energy, and the Dilemma of Adaptation and Mitigation” (2011) στο Energy Policy.

See also  Samsung announces its first QD-OLED TV, stock pricing for 2022 lineup

Proponents of nuclear energy say the relative reliability and power of the reactors make it a much clearer choice than other non-fossil energy sources such as wind and solar power, which They are sometimes closed due to fluctuations in the availability of natural resources. However, no one argues that old nuclear plants, with outdated infrastructure that often exceeds their life expectancy, are highly inefficient and at greater risk of disasters.

The primary source of nuclear energy in the future will be the existing nuclear fleet of old plantssaid Joseph Lasseter, an energy expert and advocate for nuclear power who retired from Harvard University. but “Even if there is general support for it [την κατασκευή νέων] Nuclear plants, it remains to be seen if these new nuclear plants will contribute significantly to reducing emissions from fossil fuels, given the cost and schedule excesses that plague the industry“.

Lasseter and many other energy experts supports they Nuclear power plants of the new fourth generation Which is supposed to be designed to deliver high levels of nuclear power at the lowest cost and with the lowest safety risks. But other experts say the benefits even here remain unclear. The biggest criticism of fourth-generation nuclear reactors is this They are in the design stage and we don’t have time to wait for their implementation. Immediate action is required to reduce emissions.

New nuclear energy seems to be an opportunity to solve the problem of global warming, air pollution and energy security“But it doesn’t make sense economically or in the energy sense,” says Marc Jacobson, director of the Atmosphere and Energy Program at Stanford University.For every dollar spent on producing nuclear energy, one can earn 1/5 from wind or solar energy [με το ίδιο κόστος] It takes 5 to 17 years for nuclear energy to become available. So, It is impossible for nuclear power to help the climate goals of reducing emissions by 80% by 2030. Also, while we wait for nuclear power, coal, natural gas, and oil are burning and polluting the air. In addition, nuclear power carries energy security risks that other technologies do not: rapid proliferation, destruction, waste, and lung cancer risks in uranium workers.“.

See also  Longevity: A powerful practice upended – what a new study reveals

Worldwide, 31 countries currently have active nuclear power plants, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. In contrast, four countries have taken steps to phase out nuclear power since the Fukushima disaster in 2011, and 15 countries remain in opposition and do not have operating power plants.

With carbon dioxide emissions from almost all countries They increase – and China, India and the United States lead the way – their own tiny Scandinavian country Denmark She is different. Carbon dioxide emissions are reduced despite the fact that it does not produce nuclear energy. Denmark imports some of the nuclear power produced by neighboring Sweden and Germany, but in February 2019 the country’s left-wing political party, the Red-Green Alliance, published a statement Plan A climate plan that sets a course for how the country can start relying 100% on its own, renewable and non-nuclear energy to produce electricity and heat by 2030. The plan calls for investment in renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, the smart grid and electric vehicles that act as mobile batteries and can recycle Network charging during peak hours.

Gregory Gatzko, former chair of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and author of Confessions of a Rogue Nuclear Regulator (2019), believes that technology is no longer a viable way to tackle climate change: “It is dangerous, expensive, and unreliable, and abandoning it will not cause a climate crisis“.