Nuclear energy has been used widely only for thirty years . In sixtieth it was an exotic source of power, researched by scientists, and widely discussed in press. Nowadays, as Ilan Lipper & Jon Stone state in their article about nuclear powers and society, it is the second largest energy source in the U. S. There are more than 110 nuclear plants throughout the U. S, and they produce more energy than hydropower, oil or gas, researchers write. For the U. S nuclear energy became a cheap and relatively safe source of energy, and many countries decided to adopt American experience in this field.
Today most European and Asian countries have nuclear plants that provide them with energy. Nevertheless, a question emerges which is whether it is safe to grant access to nuclear powers to countries of the Persian Gulf, like Iran, who are known for being aggressive and searching for the means to get weapons. Politicians and usual people all over the world are discussing this question. Their main fears are that nuclear power in wrong hands may be transformed into weapon, and thus harm the ecology severely. Discussions take place all over the world about the influence of nuclear power plants on the ecology.
Some say that they are not safe, even when nuclear powers are used only as a source of energy, and not as a weapon. The thing is that nuclear power plants use radioactive materials like uranium and plutonium to produce energy, and there are toxic wastes left, the authors of encyclopedia entry on renewable energy source on NationMaster, a large statistical data source claim. They add that the results of one significant radiation leakage accident on Yucca Mountain were disastrous; so people should be really very careful when using nuclear energy as the source of electricity.
In the same time, Ilan Lipper & Jon Stone prove that the dangers of using nuclear power are overestimated. They state that unlike the wastes that stay after burning of coal, which stay toxic forever, nuclear wastes toxicity reduces with each passing day, as its elements are not stable. They prove that the amount of toxic wastes thrown into the air each year is less in the countries where nuclear plants are the main source of electricity, than in the countries where there are few or no nuclear plants.
It is clearly seen that nuclear power is a very effective source of energy, and the damage it does to ecology in normal conditions is less than that of burning coal, or other means of getting electricity. Nevertheless human factor should not be forgotten. One serious human mistake is enough to let the effective and relatively safe nuclear power lead to disastrous consequences. In case an uncontrollable chain reaction emerges on the nuclear power plant, thousands of acres of lands and thousands of tons of water would be polluted, and the health of thousands of people would be damaged.
The problem with nuclear power is that it is too powerful. When used correctly it can let governments save billions of dollars, as the energy produced by nuclear power plants is relatively cheap, and protect the environment from negative influence of toxic wastes other methods of getting electricity produce, but one mistake with nuclear power can lead to unpredictable and very serious consequences. Another serious problem with using nuclear power for producing energy is that the elements used for it can also be used for creating nuclear weapon.
Human beings have always been at war with each other, and since prehistoric times they have been inventing more and more accomplished methods of murdering each other. On the present moment nuclear weapon is one of the most effective ones, along with bacteriological weapon. Nuclear weapon was used only two times in history, on Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. It slaughtered all the dwellers of these cities, and polluted the area so that people could not live there.
More than sixty years passed, and still no one lives in these places. The consequences of using nuclear weapon were so disastrous and cruel that humans finally understood they had to stop. Most countries signed various agreements stating that they would not use and produce nuclear weapons. Still many countries have nuclear powers, either officially on non-officially, but no one comes to the scratch to use them. Everyone understands that the first bomb dropped will became the end of the world we all live in.
Nuclear weapon is so powerful that dozen bombs dropped can slaughter several millions of people, depending on bombs’ sizes. The country which became the target of the nuclear attack will fight back with nuclear weapon murdering people and making land unfit to live on. That is why the issue of giving nuclear power to aggressive countries like those of the Persian Gulf is so debatable. The leaders of these countries state they need nuclear power in order to make the life of their people better, enhance their economy and protect ecology.
For example, Iranian scientists prove that the oil and gas resources Iran has are not enough for satisfying the countries need of electricity, as the plants that recycle them to get electricity are out dated, with tons of equipment broken. The article published in Herald Tribune states that the demand on electricity is getting bigger with each passing year, and using non-renewable resources like oil for satisfying it is not rational, and, moreover, dangerous for the country’s ecology. They add that 57 of 60 oil fields need major repairs and modernization in order to produce enough oil to satisfy the demand in electricity.
In general their viewpoint is easy to understand, as they want to use the cheap and relatively safe method of getting electricity most European and American countries use. In the same time Iranian aggressive politics towards other countries makes everyone suspect that they can use nuclear powers in purposes other than producing electricity. Giacomo Luciani, the Director of Gulf Research Center, states in his article “The Gulf Countries and Nuclear Energy” that the resources of oil are scarce in Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman. He proves that soon there will not be enough of oil there to satisfy the existing demand in electricity.
He adds that the restrictions USA and its allies impose on Persian Gulf countries in the issue of nuclear energy put their industries from adequate development. Luciani reminds that there are some industries within these countries, like aluminium smelting and water desalination that are of crucial importance to this region, and to other countries. His viewpoint is that given that Persian Gulf countries are gradually becoming industrial ones it is not rational to deprive them of the means to get cheap electricity, which is essential for all industrial fields.
“The key to success is exactly in viewing nuclear technology as an economic, not a political or security choice. ” – says Luciani. Nevertheless, given the political situation in this region the question of granting access to nuclear power cannot be viewed as an economic issue only. Some of the leaders of these countries are too ambitious to be satisfied with current situation. Of course most people who vote for creating nuclear power plants in Iran, Dahrain and other countries of this region in fact want to provide electricity. Their goal is to help develop industry in this region, in order to provide well-being to its dwellers.
Meanwhile one person in power who desires control would be enough to create nuclear power plants to security threat. There are no warranties that the leaders of these countries will not be able to access nuclear power plants, as their powers in their countries are almost unlimited. In addition, terroristic groups functioning in Persian Gulf region should not be forgotten. Terrorists are people who are ready for anything to reach their goals; murdering thousands of people is not an ethical problem for them; again, there is no warranty they will not be able to access elements used for nuclear reactions on plants producing electricity.
Nuclear energy is a relatively safe and cheap source of electricity nowadays. Most American and European countries use it. Some economists see nuclear plants as a universal solution for satisfying the demand in electricity. Meanwhile there are aspects about nuclear energy that have to be considered when using it. Using nuclear power may be dangerous, as an uncontrollable chain reaction may occur, and lead to nuclear explosion. In the same time the danger exists that nuclear powers may be used to create nuclear weapons.
This fear is one of the main obstacles for giving Iran and other countries of the Persian Gulf access to nuclear powers. Researchers prove it would be beneficial for their economy, but, given the current political situation in that region, the decision cannot be the purely economical one. At the moment giving nuclear powers to Persian Gulf countries is too dangerous for the well-being of all the people in the world. References 1. Lipper, I. , Stone, J. (1998). Nuclear Energy & Society. Earth and Society Interaction Project. Retrieved January 3, 2008 from http://www. umich. edu/~gs265/society/nuclear. htm
2. Luciani, G. (2007). The Gulf Countries and Nuclear Energy. Gulf Monitor, 6(20-23). Retrieved January 3, 2008 from http://www. grc. ae/data/contents/uploads/Gulf_Monitor_no_6_3450. pdf 3. Renewable Energy Source. (2005). Nation Master Encyclopedia. Retrieved January 3, 2008 from http://www. nationmaster. com/encyclopedia/Renewable-energy-source#Is_nuclear_energy_renewable. 3F 4. Sahimi, M. , Mojtahed-Zadeh, P. , Afrasiabi, K. L. (2003, October 14). Energy : Iran needs nuclear power. International Herald Tribune. Retrieved January 3, 2008 from http://www. iht. com/articles/2003/10/14/edsahimi_ed3_. php