EG1415 Engineering Professionalism: Nuclear Energy Safety, Waste Disposal, Ethics and Recommendations

By | November 22, 2006




EG1415 Engineering Professionalism: Nuclear Energy Safety, Waste Disposal, Ethics and Recommendations

Introduction
Nuclear power has been in existence for a long time. The first nuclear power plant in the United States came online in 1957[1]. Currently nuclear power produces 20% of the world’s energy and is expected to decline to 12% in the next decade [2]. However recent developments have caused new debate on whether to turn to nuclear energy. Mainly they are effects of environmental pollution and climate change due to carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning, rising prices of fuel, rising demand of rapidly developing nations, implementation of carbon emission tax and energy security. However the old problems of nuclear power still exist 50 years after the first nuclear power plant came online. Waste disposal of spent nuclear fuel remains a problem without a real solution. Safety issues over radiation emitted by nuclear power plants still exist. The vulnerability for nuclear power plants and their potential to be used as weapons were also highlighted after 9/11. Finally nuclear power can also lead to the production of nuclear weapons since the reprocessed fuel can be used in bombs.
In this report, we will examine both the pull and push factors surrounding nuclear energy and the ethics of nuclear energy. We also give our recommendation on the large scale adoption of nuclear power and examine if nuclear power is feasible in the context of Singapore.

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the full report @
http://docs.google.com/View?docid=ajbp4vcw9grf_1fb9dph