Atomic Energy: Good and Bad; explains the pros and cons of atomic energy and whether the good outweighs the bad.

Essay by SolidusJunior High, 8th grade September 2003

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The use of nuclear energy is controversial because it can be used to wreak havoc upon mankind. Fission, or the splitting of atoms, can be used to release extreme heat and radiation. During World War II, the United States decided that this would be a powerful weapon, so they dropped two fission bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan to end the war. Many buildings were desotryed and thousands of innocent civilians were killed. After that, the world viewed nuclear bombs as dangerous new weapons that could devestate entire cities.

Also, the radiation released from nuclear fission is harmful to living organisms. In 1986, a steam buildup in a nuclear reactor in Chornobyl, Ukraine caused an explosion that released tons of radiation into contact with people and animals. Thirty-one deaths resulted from the accident. Traces of the radiation were found in areas far away from the reactor because they traveled by wind.

After the accident, the radiation still affects people in the contaminated areas; thyroid cancer in people has been increased due to the radiation.

I think the benefits of nuclear power definitely outweigh the potentional dangers. Nuclear power is a very efficient source of energy. For example, it can be used to provide electricity for cities. Nuclear reactors would split radioactive elements to form heat, which would produce steam to turn turbines. Then electricity would be created to power major towns and cities. We do not need to worry about nuclear meltdowns because of the safety measures in nuclear reactors. The Chernobyl accident would be a thing of the past.

Nuclear energy is also abundant, unlike fossil fuels (coal and oil). We don't have to worry about running out of radioactive elements. However, fossil fuels are the complete opposite; gasoline prices have skyrocketed over the past thirty years, and...