Apr 4th, 2015
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Nuclear Energy UseSCI 707With the world's attention directed toward the crisis in Japan, the US is collectively pulling its collar over the potential danger of continued investment in nuclear energy. Prior to the incident at Japan's Onaga power plant, the Obama administration was touting the idea of a "nuclear renaissance" which in light of recent events admittedly invokes less optimism then it may have initially. As bad as the partial or full meltdowns of five nuclear reactors in Japan may seem, the dangers of nuclear power still must be measured against the flow of greenhouse gases from traditional fossil fuel sources. Where are we headed with nuclear energy? Will the incident in Japan cause closer reflection on the potential risks of this cheap energy source and will the US act on these concerns?If the world needs energy, what forms are worse for human health: those generated from fission or fossil fuels? Structurally, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant-six reactors perched at the sea's edge-actually survived the devastating earthquake that struck the northeast coast of Japan's main island, Honshu, on March 11. It was the tsunami that followed, and the resulting fourteen-meter-high wall of water, that caused the real damage-washing away tanks holding diesel fuel for backup generators and eliminating the electricity to run the pumps providing cooling water to maintain the temperature of the reactors. As a result, three of the six reactors an

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