all energy production and use involves some form of pollution
of our environment. Each different source of energy, from
fossil fuels to nuclear, pollutes in a different way and to
a different degree. Just how much pollution and what type
of pollution is acceptable and which source of energy should
be used has generated a lot of controversy.
& Oil Power Plants
or Dust (air)
lung cancer and other lung ailments
is caused by the tendency for some gases, like carbon dioxide, to
trap heat in the earth's atmosphere. This seems to be causing a
gradual increase in the average world temperatures, melting of the
ice caps, rising ocean levels, and changes in weather patterns.
such as nitrous oxides help to create smog and haze, and make it
difficult for elderly people and people with lung problems to breathe.
Waste (liquid or solid)
to dispose of.
poisoning and increased risk of cancer.
growth of algae and kills marine life.
nuclear power plants that are already in use have produced thousands
of tons of radioactive waste that are sitting in drums waiting for
disposal. This waste will be toxic for thousands of years and where
to put it has become a gigantic technical and political problem.
No one wants this waste anywhere near their own communities, and
the technology of safely storing it is unproved and still under
leaks are rare, there have been some small leaks and even a few
larger ones. Small leaks allow radioactive gases to get into the
atmosphere, which if breathed, could help cause cancer. One very
large leak in the Soviet Union allowed radioactive material to contaminate
a considerable area, which is still unusable today.
If you drive
by a nuclear power plant, you might see the huge cooling towers
that are required to cool the hot reactor. The water from these
cooling towers contains excess heat energy and is released into
the local rivers or lakes. The warmer temperatures that are created
allow organisms that would not normally thrive to grow and kill
off some of the previous inhabitants.