Can nuclear research be justified?

Nuclear research, despite its usefulness in benefitting the populace, can also be used as a form of weaponry to destroy, with catastrophic results. Nuclear technology is extremely harmful in its natural form, even if stored within a power plant. Its destructive potential, when fully unleashed, makes it an excellent choice as a missile or a bomb. These nuclear weapons can be used to cause extreme devastation, obliterating entire cities, leaving behind millions of scars and gargantuan mushroom clouds in its wake, as can be testified by victims and survivors of the Hiroshima atomic bombing by the US, which left a decades-long curse on the physical health of the people and their descendants, as well as the land and air conditions in the area.  In fact, during the cold war, the world was very close to a nuclear meltdown best seen in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Nuclear technology has already been misused and abused for decades, which goes to show that the world is not mature enough to handle nuclear research. If left in the wrong hands, it can yield highly disastrous and cataclysmic results, even if it is for a “just cause”.

Nuclear technology, if not being deliberately used for genocide purposes, can also be potentially dangerous to the environment at large on its own. Unlike most sources of energy, where usage is not unstable and does not yield pernicious after-effects, nuclear energy falls, unfortunately, into the ‘extremely unstable’ category. Simply building and maintaining a nuclear plant requires extreme precautions as any wrong move can potentially kill millions around the vicinity and, more severely, contaminate its surroundings, leaving millennial-long radiation effects in the area of explosion, as was with the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe in Ukraine in 1986.

Nuclear technology is also exceedingly costly, especially after taking maintenance and waste disposal costs into account. Considering that nuclear technology brings with it a lot of risks, this begs the questions whether spending on this sector is even worth it. The millions of money spent on this sector could be used to develop other aspects of society, like crucial healthcare or education policies. Therefore, it would not be advisable to continue pursuing nuclear research in this aspect.

However, one should also take note of the merits of nuclear technology. It is able to provide endless amounts of energy in the long run. It is proven that a single uranium rock- the source of nuclear energy- can be converted to electrical energy to provide for at least a hundred households at any one time. This fact is often exploited to build nuclear reactors in strategic locations in the country in order to provide the most amount of energy to the local populace. This could greatly benefit countries such as Russia where the widely scattered distribution of population makes distributing energy very difficult and in some cases, insufficient.

P.s these are some arguments that students have come out with during class time. If you have any other arguments, pls comment and engage us in a fruitful discussion.

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