Hazards of a Nuclear World:
The-picture painted abdve seems rosy. Yet, it does have a few shades of grey. There are many risks associated with the use of nuclear fission energy. These risks have caused world-wide debate, controversy and at times fear. Accidents have happened in nuclear power plants everywhere in the world. In 1986, there was a major nuclear accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the _then USSR. Rare as they are, sltch accidents raise demands fm.a complete ban on nuclear power plants. However, an unbiased assessment of the pasr accidents indicates that this is not the answer.
A better solution lies in the need to'resssess plant,safety, devise improved methods of avoiding or containing the extent of mishaps. In India, there has been heated discussion on this issue, but on the basis of several precautions and safety measures, it has been decided to go ahead with the programme Tgeneratingabout 4000 Megawatt power by this method. by the year 2000 A.D. Another major problem is the disposal of radio-active waste material from the spent uranium rods of the nuclear reactors. Several alternatives are being tried out everywhere in the world, for example, burying it thousands of feet deep in the earth or in the ocean bed. Some western countries were recently reported to be dumping the highly injurious radio-active waste in African or South American countries. From mining of the ore, to nuclear waste disposal,-each step in the nuclear fuel cycle carries risks. The risks and benefits of each step depend largely on a strict watch over malfunction and human error. The challenge is to eliminate the risks and to increase the benefits.