As a concept, nuclear fission is the sort of topic that can become very complex very quickly. If you are going to look at something as detailed as nuclear fission pros and cons, you are definitely going to want to start off with a straightforward definition of nuclear fission as a concept.
Without this definition, you are going to find it very difficult to understand the pros and cons of nuclear fission.
Nuclear Fission Pros
One of the most important things to understand about the pros and cons of nuclear fission is the fact these pros and cons largely come down to usage specifics. What this means is that when nuclear fission is used correctly by people with good intentions, the results can be quite extraordinary. This isn’t always the case, as nuclear fission is inherently a risky concept, but there are considerable benefits to nuclear fission. These benefits are dependent upon certain factors, but they are indeed real benefits that should be kept in mind during a rational discussion of the subject.
1. Nuclear fission has the potential to decrease pollution. When nuclear fission as a fossil fuel alternative is explored to its fullest potential, the environmental benefits over both the short-term and the long-term are impressive, to say the least. This energy alternative goes to great lengths to protect the ozone layer, because it can be processed and burned to create energy in the same way that fossil fuels can. However, the major difference between fossil fuels and nuclear fission is that nuclear fission is renewable. Fossil fuels are obviously not.
2. In terms of functioning as a power source, nuclear fission is extremely reliable. For example, certain disasters can substantially diminish or eliminate other forms of energy. Certainly, you have seen a news story or two about oil tankards crashing, spilling and losing thousands of gallons of precious oil. This can create a serious spike in gas costs, which is something that can hurt just about all of us at the gas pump. With nuclear fission, this scenario doesn’t really exist. Even in the event of a disaster, nuclear fission can still be used to meet the energy demands of a populace.
3. When it is being used properly, nuclear fission is considerably safer than some people believe it to be: One of the problems nuclear fission has concerns public image. The mere mention of the word “nuclear” brings to mind the nuclear war scares of the 1950s, in addition to visuals that still accompany the twin horrors of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. This does not have as much to do with nuclear fission as a power source as you might think. When nuclear fission is used properly, it is considerably safer than people give it credit for. Consider what the burning of coal can do to your respiratory system. With nuclear fission, that is not something that you need to worry about.
4. These are some of the significant pros of nuclear fission. However, the pros do not paint the whole picture. In order to completely understand what nuclear fission is capable of, you are going to have to look at the cons.
Nuclear Fission Cons
Even when nuclear fission is used safely, there are some inherent dangers. There is also the fact that many see nuclear fission as something that can be used as a terrible, endlessly destructive power. When it comes to the pros and cons of nuclear fission, here are some of the more substantial cons that you are going to want to understand:
1. Nuclear fission will always have potential to be used as a weapon. As history has shown us, there will always exist individuals who only see nuclear fission as an instrument of massive, unimaginable destruction.
2. Nuclear fission can upset the balance of power in the global community. It is not unreasonable to imagine that one country can take nuclear fission, create terrible weapons, and use this power to bully or even control a neighboring country. We can certainly find examples in the news of countries using nuclear potential to influence control.
3. There is always going to be the horrifying potential of what nuclear fission can do in the event of a disaster. There are at least a couple of significant examples in recent history of what a nuclear meltdown is capable of. This is a scenario that can kill hundreds, thousands, or even millions instantly. At the same time, a meltdown can make large areas of the planet uninhabitable for years or even decades.
4. Radiation can create significant health problems. Let’s talk about meltdowns a little bit more. Those who are not killed in the immediate destruction caused by a nuclear meltdown can still find themselves being destroyed over time by the horrors of nuclear radiation. This radiation can cause several types of cancer, amongst other terrible, fatal diseases.
5. Nuclear waste can create a host of problems: If nuclear materials are not disposed of properly, the consequences can be both far-reaching and absolutely devastating. The diseases caused through radiation can impact people in areas in which nuclear waste has not been taken care of in a safe fashion.
What Is Nuclear Fission?
Your understanding of nuclear fission will begin by first understanding nuclear energy.
Simply put, nuclear energy refers to the energy that exists within the atomic nucleus. In terms of releasing this energy instantly, radioactive decay is the best bet for achieving this end. This is where the concept of nuclear technology comes into play. With nuclear technology, you are talking about the technology that generates electricity that can be used by humanity in a variety of applications. Many people will make the claim that when it comes to the best kind of electricity, the potential of nuclear technology is a cut above any other types of electricity.
However, nuclear technology goes beyond providing countries across the world with adequate levels of power. As you may know, nuclear technology is also capable of creating some pretty horrific weaponry. When it comes to nuclear technology being able to create nuclear weapons, you only have to look at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These examples of nuclear weaponry brought a definitive end to the Second World War, but that conclusion came at the expense of millions and millions of human lives.
When nuclear energy is being utilized with explosive weaponry, you are talking about something that is known as nuclear fission.
And with something like nuclear fission, you are going to want to weigh the pros and cons very carefully indeed.
Clearly, nuclear fission has certain potentially positive benefits behind it. However, the dangers associated with nuclear fission are also quite clear. It is easy to see why both proponents and opponents are so passionate about the subject.
It is also easy to see why there is no easy answer to the question of whether or not nuclear fission is something that has a place in the world. In order to make this determination for yourself, you are going to weigh the above pros and cons very carefully. You will want to consider everything you come across in the way of information, in order to decide how you feel.