Nuclear development is thought to be humans’ major innovation and achievement (Bernstein & Jeremy 100). At the same time, the discovery of the nuclear energy is sometimes called a bother to the world. There are a lot of problems associated with nuclear development. Many fierce nuclear accidents have occurred in the history of discovery for example, the 1986 Chernobyl tragedy. Harmful impacts of nuclear weapons are still evident to date, for example, the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear attacks’ effects. Besides, nuclear development firms have failed to dispose of the nuclear waste materials hence putting human life at risk. On the other hand, there have been a number of positive developments in the nuclear industry, such as the use of nuclear advancement in medicine and generation of electricity. However, one of the biggest drawbacks of the nuclear power is many nations across the globe constantly engage in a competition for military supremacy achieved through nuclear power supremacy. The number of nations having the ability to use nuclear power is rising drastically. Tension might increase in the world as they may secretly manufacture weapons of mass destruction. Due to the negative factors, the world should stop the nuclear development, which threatens our life.
History of Nuclear Development
Researchers discovered that atom has a lot of energy holding the components of the nucleus together. Scientists discovered that large amounts of energy generated after splitting the atom, and this method was known as nuclear fission. Chemical combination of different atoms in a method known as nuclear fusion also produced the same results. The power concept of the atoms took a long time to discover since the time of atom discovery.
Ernest Rutherford, in 1901, discovered that nuclear energy could be produced through radioactivity, which involves splitting or combining of isotopes. Implementation of his idea happened during the Second World War. The warring nations targeted to produce nuclear weapons that could help defeat the enemy nations easily (Malley 56). Germans, who claimed to be preparing to produce the nuclear weapon, threatened the United States. The United States engaged its researchers in the production of the nuclear weapon, but did not use its on the Germans since they had already surrendered after the completion of the project. Two nuclear weapons were dropped at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan leaving trails of destruction. The world noted the dark side of the nuclear technology. Hence embarking on the nuclear discovery meant working for constructive purposes.
Scientists discovered that the nuclear technology could be used in medicine, industries and electricity generation. The use of nuclear technology to generate electricity was discovered in 1950s but became effective in 1957 through the United States government. The nuclear technology application in industries began in 1960s. In industries, the radioactive element determines the thickness, detects flaws in metal and tests the strength of welds. The radioactive emissions have very high penetrating strength and computers are used to display the signals. The United States encountered disposal problems, safety measures and environmental impact issues, sothe developments slowed down for a while. By 1991, there had been 31 nations having nuclear power plants (Mahaffey 90). The nuclear technology became very important in medicine for the treatment and identification of disease cause. Nuclear technology became a crucial food preservation mechanism due to its ability to preserve the vitamin contained in food during the process of freezing, canning and drying.
Nuclear technology generates approximately 15% of electricity in the world. The electricity generation from the nuclear power is mostly used in the developed countries. The nations are able to increase the amount of electricity generated in the country. France nuclear electricity amounts to 78% of the total electrical energy produced in the country, Belgium – 54%, Sweden – 48%, USA – 19%, Japan – 30%, etc. Developing countries are also striving to produce electricity through the nuclear technology. Brazil normally produces 2-9% of its electricity from the nuclear energy (Miller 79). There are 438 nuclear power stations that functional and produce 372 GW(e) of electricity. The production of electricity through the nuclear power became very popular in the 1970s and 1980s.
There have been estimations on the future electric power generation. The bottom up approach has been used to predict the electricity generation. The nuclear plans and production strategies are accessed for the member states of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The results are used to determine the low and high estimates of nuclear power generation. The results help deduce the increase in the nuclear energy production in these countries.
The use of nuclear technology to generate electricity has gradually substituted other means of power generation. The electricity consumption has increased considerably over the years due to the increase in the world population. Nuclear energy is clean compared to the use of coal, so carbon emissions are expected to be minimized. Electricity generation with the use of coal is very expensive and inefficient compared to the nuclear energy. However, the power plants are expensive to construct and maintain. The plants are designed with safety conditions in the mind of the designer. The waste disposal becomes a major issue since the disposal involves an expensive burying process that even United States is still finding hard to afford.
Nations should not target to increase the nuclear electricity production while rushing to change their status. Researchers should still come up with ways of producing cost effective electricity. China is a nation that concentrates on production of electricity to improve its economy and achieve economical dominance across the globe. If other nations are to comply with Chinas strategy, the electricity deficit that is currently affecting the world will be addressed, and the growing population will be catered for easily. The United States has electricity production plans for 24 of its new nuclear plants. South Korea has also increased the nuclear electric power generation. It is thought that the use of nuclear power will be the best way to address problems of power. The price of fuel is continually shooting up, and it is evident that increased exploitation of these resources might deplete them. The use of nuclear power is thought to be able to supplement them implying that the world will not be in a crisis in the future. The nuclear electricity is believed to be an avenue for the nations lacking these commodities to increase production and reduce the cost of importing natural gas and oil. The economies of these dependent countries do not grow uniformly due to continuous delays in the supply or changes in the price of oil. Therefore, it is claimed that the nations will not be affected by economic problems of oil producing nations.
However, the use of nuclear power to produce electricity becomes a challenge since some radioactive materials might not be available and have to be imported. Great Britain imports uranium ore from Canada and Australia. The dependence on other countries for the supply of radioactive materials has hindered the ability of many nations to stop importing oil. This is explained by the fact that nuclear power has to be combined with other forms of energy due to the scarcity of radioactive materials.
Nuclear weapons work under the principle of radioactivity to produce rapid energy geared towards total destruction. The nuclear weapons explode above the surface of the earth to form a mushroom-like structure. The detonation produces a lot of heat that destroys everything in the neighbourhood. The Hiroshima nuclear bomb explosion raised the temperature of the atmosphere to 4000 degrees centigrade. Thus, strong wind is that sweeps away everything is created. The radioactive materials then descend the surface and the effect of radiation may take long before vanishing.
The nuclear weapons production in many countries emerged during the cold war period. The United States, for example, continued with the production of nuclear weapons since it feared that Soviet Union could have attained military supremacy hence taking the top spot as the world super power. There are fears that nations are willing to sell nuclear weapons to terrorists. China is also developing interests in the nuclear weapons manufacture due to its economic development. The United Kingdom and France are also seeking to produce up to date weapons. The United States is working tirelessly to produce the 21st century class of nuclear weapons. This implies that many nations are basing the military power on the ability to own nuclear weapons. Arguably, these nations believe that there is a rise in the world’s insecurity hence the preparedness is vital (Bernstein 120). The nuclear weapons therefore are symbols of security and the nations consider acquiring new warheads as time goes.
The United States continually upgrades its military strength by acquiring conventional weapon system and missile defences. Nuclear weapons are significant in matters of national security thus possession of nuclear warheads increases national security. North Korea declared its acquisition of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles in 2006 and has worked in collaboration with Iran. These nations have threatened the world’s security since they have defied talks to reduce the amount of nuclear warheads. The United Nations has felt the threat and considers strengthening its nuclear capability in readiness for any external attack.
The worst mistake that the world has made is to allow terrorists to access the nuclear warheads. Terrorists might do anything to please themselves. The nations should be on high alert since the terrorist might strike at any moment. This number of casualties will definitely be too high, and the nations hit might never be able to reconstruct their economy.
Damage from Nuclear Development
The nuclear weapons are very harmful to the environment and human health. Weapon production and power generation from the nuclear technology go hand in hand, since no nation can be said to be inclined towards electricity production alone. The harm begins when miners become exposed to the radioactive materials however much they might be protected. The radioactive rays are able to penetrate through the protective gears worn. These people are mostly reported to develop cancers due to the prolonged exposure to the radiations. The testing stage also brings about atmosphere contamination and health problems. The atmospheric testing was responsible for 430,000 serious cancers in 2000. The underground testing leads to earthquakes due to the large power possessed by the nuclear weapons. The testing of nuclear weapons has led to massive deaths and contamination. The world still remembers of the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the continued radiation effects that continued to affect the Japanese. The Chernobyl disaster is remembered for maiming people and the radioactive effects lasted for a long period. The development in the nuclear technology and testing has negative side effects. Radioactive isotopes take long before they stop emitting radiations, which are harmful to human health.
The types of radiations emitted include gamma, neutron and ionizing radiation. There is the initial and final radiation depending on the time of exposure to radioactive materials. Initial radiation kills few people. The final radiation lasts for a long time and may cause suffering to many generations. The amount of radioactive effect determines the amount of damage caused on the human tissue. Exposure to radiation of lower magnitudes causes hair loss. Higher amounts of radiations are capable of destroying brain cells. Notably, lower amount of radiations have minimal impact on the brain since the brain cells do not reproduce. Radiations destroy the nervous system and blood capillaries, which eventually leads to death of the victim.
Exposure to the high amount of radiation affects the reproductive system, and many are times when the victims finally become sterile. The exposure to radiations also leads to various types of cancer, anaemia, leukaemia, and cataracts. Normally, ionizing radiations cause the abnormal development of body cells leading to growth of tumours. Human immune system malfunctions due to the messing up of the white blood cells implying that the body stays without the platelets. Therefore, people contract diseases easily and any disease is fatal due to the weakness of the defence of the immune system.
Nuclear weapons lead to psychological problems. The survivors of nuclear attack become traumatised and may never live a normal life. The scars inflicted on them heal in a bad manner and lead to farther complications. Some of the body parts affected by radiations are gradually amputated, and the process of amputation may at times take place until a great proportion of the body is lost. Other people are displaced from their homes to settle in the places that are against their wish. Family members are separated from each other, and many people may never return to the original places due to fear of fresh attacks.
The attacked countries lose a lot of money. In Nagasaki and Hiroshima, properties were destroyed on a large scale. The buildings in a 10km diameter were damaged implying that the two attacks had an impact on Japanese economy. The places could not be inhabited for long due to radiations exposure hence the resources are rendered useless. The soils and water get polluted, and no animal can survive.
The political and economic systems affecting the country is damaged. The public may feel that the government is unable to protect them from external attacks. The government concentrates on the economic recovery hence the citizens may feel isolated. The systems of governance change while the citizens may form illegal groups to plan for revenge (Glasstone 86). The government at this stage may be forced to act harshly hence inducing more suffering to the citizens. These nations take long before they attain a level of political stability.
Nations attacking others with atomic bombs are haunted by the act for a long time. The United States had to cover up for losses incurred by Japan. This means that their economic growth was halted. The nation lived with fear of being attacked by nations that were moved by the act. Even today, the United States sees the nuclear development in other countries as a major threat, probably due to guilt. The nation is forced to invest heavily in the nuclear weapons due to fear of vengeful attacks.
Nations should come together and have some peace talks. Generally, the United States is seen as the dominant state. It becomes hard for any nation to accept instructions related to reduction of its nuclear stockpile. Since other nations are accelerating the attempts to acquire nuclear energy, it might become hard to target a specific country. The attempts to destroy nuclear weapons may lead to retaliation. The war that is likely to ensue will involve the use of nuclear weapons. Peace talks are necessary to avoid inclination towards armament.
Thorough checks should also be employed to ensure that nations comply with the set rules. Any nation found to have used nuclear weapons should be penalized as the suffering is induced on the innocent citizens for decades. The nations can be threatened with trade sanctions. The $12trillion spent on the nuclear weapons, could have been invested in a related field, probably in the generation of nuclear electrical energy and the world could be talking of a bigger figure representing the electric power generation. A grievous mistake is made when a nation tries to supply terrorists with nuclear arsenals. Terrorists will hit any time, and on the countries, they can manage to penetrate. Allowing terrorists to own nuclear weapon means that the world will be a disastrous and unsafe place (Canadian Council on International Law and the Markland Group). Any nation suspected in engaging in these kinds of unlawful transaction should be subjected to trade bans while individuals in authority should be charged in the international court of law.
The Conference on Disarmament in Geneva should be revived. The United Nations and other powerful organizations should allow weaker countries to contribute in the formulation of policies. If USA and other stronger nations continue with their dominance, Iran and North Korea will never comply. Other nations will follow the trend, and tension will eventually grip the world. Notably, a country that will concentrate on the nuclear technology for electrical generation will grow economically at a higher rate. Nuclear power will be very efficient to produce and will save a lot of money.
Nuclear energy can be used to extract oil from coal implying that the nuclear power will lead to increase in fuel production. The money saved in United States amounted to billions of dollars when nuclear technology was incorporated in the production of the national electricity. Though the initial cost of putting up a nuclear plant is very high, a lot of money is saved on power for countries concentrating on power production. The nuclear waste materials are recyclable implying that nations will not stop spending money on the disposal. The nuclear waste will be stored safely, and chemical reactions will be carried out to recover the initial isotope. The living standard will improve drastically due to the reduced cost of production in industries and electricity.
If nations can’t sign a peace deal, then the above factors will never be applicable. This means that the nations should come together and shut all the nuclear production facility. The nuclear warheads should be disposed, and the super powers should not be exceptional. The stoppage of nuclear development will lead to heavy losses, but the entire world will be safe from the impeding destruction.
Nuclear technology could have solved the world’s problem of dealing with global warming. It is very clean implying that no emissions are made to the atmosphere. Proper and safe nuclear plants have been put up hence preventing the recurrence of the nuclear accidents. The only problem that the nations have is competition for status. This has happened for many centuries, and after all evolution in education, nations are adamant to change. Instead of concentrating on the generation of power, the nations are increasing their nuclear weapon stock.
The adverse effects of nuclear weapon are evident in the accidents, testing process and application of the weapons. The world will never learn, and the use of nuclear weapons will never end. Worse still, terroristic activities are bound to thrive due to the access to the weapons of mass destruction. Since the nations of the world are unable to control its behaviours, they should join hands and destroy their nuclear weapons together with the nuclear plants, so that the world will be neutral without nuclear technology.