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Nuclear Energy and its Impact - Fukushima



The Fukushima nuclear accident is the second worst nuclear accident to date. On March 11, 2011, there was an earthquake in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. That earthquake resulted in a tsunami. The waves generated from that tsunami damaged the backup generators at the plant, causing the cooling system to fail. Eventually, the reactors suffered a meltdown, causing radiation to be released into the atmosphere and subsequent explosions near the site.


As a result of radiation concerns, the government of Japan established a no-fly zone around the plant. Residents in the area were also evacuated shortly after the accident due to radiation exposure concerns. After a few more days, even more residents around the area started to leave their homes.


About a month after the accident, the International Atomic Energy Agency placed the severity level of the nuclear emergency in the area on the highest level. In other words, officials had designated this accident to be in the same category as the Chernobyl accident that occurred in the Soviet Union.


Furthermore, the massive amounts of radiation released from this accident have contaminated everything from water to soil to plants and to animals. This radiation has thus made it into people's bodies through consumption, which can lead to mutations and cancer in severe cases. Because of this radioactive material's long half-life, it will be many ears before this radiation reaches a safe level.


Overall, this accident emphasizes that it is important to consider the impact of alternative energy sources before using them. In the past few years, nuclear energy has been promoted as a renewable energy source that is cheap enough to replace the use of nonrenewable energy sources. However, this alternative comes at a cost as can be seen through the dangers caused by the accidents of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima.

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