We can’t live without electricity. In Japan it is produced by thermal power, hydroelectric power, and nuclear power mainly. According to an article on the Web site of Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd., about 60% of the combined amount of generated electricity is provided by thermal power and 31% of that is nuclear power. It means Japan depends on nuclear power. It has both good and bad points, but should we continue to use it? In my opinion, we should not do so. Nuclear power plants in earthquake countries like Japan may cause disasters, and it is hard to dispose of radioactive waste which is a by-product of nuclear power generation. For those reasons I think Japan should shift the energy policy and reduce nuclear power plants.
So long as there is some possibility disasters happen, we shouldn’t continue to use nuclear power. There are some advantages of nuclear power. The costs of running nuclear plants are relatively low since nuclear plants need only a small amount of uranium to produce a lot of energy. Additionally using nuclear power reduces dependence on foreign oils and natural gas so people will not be susceptible to price rises in it. However, even if there are many advantages, nuclear power plants can cause nuclear and radiation accidents. Although new technology has made them more reliable and safer, we can’t prevent disasters completely.
As mentioned above, Nuclear power can generate very large amount of energy from a very small amount of fuel. The amount of waste is correspondingly very small. However, much of the waste is radioactive and therefore must be carefully managed as hazardous waste. The ultimate disposal of vitrified wastes, or of used fuel assemblies without reprocessing, requires their isolation from the environment for a long time. The most favoured method is burial in stable geological formations some 500 metres deep. After being buried for about 1000 years most of the radioactivity will have decayed. Thus waste is as hazardous as it needs these processes to dispose itself.
Japan has used nuclear power as it has many advantages. However, even if I take account of them, I think Japan should not continue to use it since there are some possibilities to menace our safety. The government should abandon nuclear power generation and shift the energy policy from it to renewable energy such as sunlight, wind and tides. I think nothing is more important than safety.
Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. (n.d.). Nihon no hatsuden denryokuryou no dengenbetsu wariai. Retrieved February 15, 2013 from Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. Web site: http://www.tokyo-gas.co.jp/kids/data_14.html
World Nuclear Association. (n.d.). Waste Management: Overview. Retrieved February 15, 2013 from World Nuclear Association Web site: http://www.world-nuclear.org/education/wast.htm