How the Chernobyl disaster changed the way of looking at nuclear energy

How the Chernobyl disaster changed the way of looking at nuclear energy

During the night of April 26th 1986 in Ukraine, which was  part of the USSR at the time, the biggest tragedy in the history of nuclear power took place with disastrous consequences on the environment and on those who were part of it.

The cause of all this was a serious design defect of the reactor control rods themselves, brought to a critical point of instability by the incompetent staff of the nuclear power plant.

From that moment on, a heated,still ongoing debate started  between those who are in favour and those who are against nuclear energy as a main power source. Despite  this catastrophe, it is scientifically proven that nuclear energy sources are actually one of the greenest and most eco-friendly when it comes to CO2 emissions.

In the wake of the Chernobyl tragedy, the safety of the installations has been frequently questioned. In truth, in all of the western plants there have never been any serious accidents.

The most controversial issue when it comes to this energy source is radioactive waste. Yet, in the case of  nuclear power, it has been shown that the quantities of waste produced are minimal compared to other kinds of energy sources: the volume of a golf ball of uranium is enough to satisfy all the energy needs of a person for the entirety of their lifetime.

What’s more, due to the adoption of certain energy policies, nowadays, many countries, particularly Italy and Germany, are dependent on Russian gas and oil, falling  victim to greatly increased prices as a consequence of the war between Ukraine and Russia.

It’s high time governments like those in Italy and Germany changed  their inconsistent position on nuclear energy, paying heed to the voices of scientists and experts alike: nuclear energy is a reliable, cost-effective and safe energy source, and should team up with renewable energy to help us win the fight against climate change and dependency on sources that are more harmful to the environment.

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Autore:

Alessandra Mendola

Classe:

IV A Liceo Linguistico “Vittorini” Gela
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