here is no doubt that the energy to be harvested from nuclear power is immense. It would address a lot of power issues we face currently. For example, what is our substitute when we have depleted all the natural resources we can use? The pros and cons have been debated and weighed with many people supporting nuclear power. I understand that we need this energy, but as someone who was born near Chernobyl, I also know the harmful side effects.
The latest tragedy in Japan has raised this question yet again. With the nuclear reactor hitting meltdown, there are grave concerns over the radioactive mess making its way into Japan. The fallout isn’t as strong in Tokyo, but within 20 kilometers of the site there are contamination zones facing troubles with evacuation.
The fallout is settling in the soil, the air and the sea. All of these are problematic for the people. Their fishing industry in the region is destroyed. The animals themselves will face problems, though it is hard to predict to what extent. Food to be grown could contain large health threats. Even the water at the factory was badly contaminated and sent workers to the hospital.
I am well aware of the opposing argument noting how infrequently these events happen. They may not happen often, but they still occur. The amount of lives that have been put at risk is devastatingly high- not to mention that the whole country is in danger. How many lives is it worth before the stakes are too high? Natural disasters are unpredictable. Though it is usually a freak accident when there is a nuclear plant problem, the adverse effects last. Radioactive fallout in these areas haunts families for generations.
The nuclear question is hard to address. There are gains to be made, but devastating consequences as well. Perhaps in the future, more people will push for solar energy. It is cheaper, much easier to harness and does not pose a health threat.
Natasha Tomchin is a freshman majoring in history and public relations. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.