Due to increasing concern regarding global climate change, Canada needs to consider using more nuclear power as a possible solution.

There is a lot of controversy on the subject of nuclear power due to the many pros and cons of the topic.

A positive outcome of nuclear power in Canada would be that there will be less air pollution compared to burning fossil fuels. We would also start producing fewer greenhouse gas emissions during the production of electricity compared to coal power plants. Overall it would make Canada a much more environmentally friendly country.

Another advantage of nuclear power is that it produces very inexpensive electricity. The cost of the element uranium, which is used as a fuel in this process, is low. Even though the expense of setting up nuclear power plants is moderately high, the expense of running them is quite low. The typical life of a nuclear reactor is anywhere from 40-60 years. These variables make the expense of delivering power low.

Unlike solar and wind energy, nuclear reactors are not dependent on weather conditions and can run without disruption in any climatic condition. It is also much more proficient than fossil fuels. Their energy densities are extremely high compared to fossil fuels and the energy released by nuclear fission is about 10 million times greater than the amount of energy being released by fossil fuels. Canada currently has 19 CANDU nuclear reactors (in Ontario and in New Brunswick). None of them have experienced any incidents like the one in Chernobyl in 1986.

Overall, it isn’t a bad idea to consider using nuclear power in Canada because it does not pollute the atmosphere, it is not very costly, it is reliable, and it is much more proficient than fossil fuels.

A negative affect of nuclear power is the amount of radioactive waste that comes with 20 metric tons of nuclear fuel per year created by a single nuclear power plant. When considering each nuclear power plant on Earth, the amount of nuclear fuel produced is 2,000 metric tons. It is difficult to dispose of nuclear waste as the half life of uranium is 70 million years. Another downside is that although it is not an air pollutant, nuclear waste is a water pollutant. A nuclear power plant takes about 5-10 years to build. Also, uranium is finite and there is only enough of it for the next 70-80 years as well as only a few countries have uranium.

There have been accidents regarding nuclear power plants. When discussing nuclear power, the incident in Chernobyl often comes up. On April 26th, 1986, in Pripyat, Ukraine, an explosion and fire in a reactor sent radioactivity into the atmosphere. This had harmful effects on humans and ecology that can still be seen today.

Nuclear weapons were used at the end of World War II in the form of atomic bombs. These bombs were dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. They created mass destruction and impacted human health (both physical and neurological birth defects) for years to come.

Due to all these pros and cons, I can see both sides of this issue and understand why it is a controversial topic that is being considered to be put in place in Canada.