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Environmental Impact of Nuclear Power

Nuclear reactions are chemical reactions that emit or absorb energy. This energy accounts for the difference in reactant and product mass and is called the Q-value of the reaction. A nuclear reactor is a system, which controls the reactions in the nuclear chain reactions. In December 1942, a nuclear reactor was designed by Enrico Fermi, an Italian genius at the University of Chicago and the world’s first fission chain reaction was achieved.

Deforestation is one of the main demerits of nuclear power. It can be characterized as forest change with tree crown cover loss of more than 90 per cent. Nevertheless, forest tree crown cover decline is known to be less than 90 per cent forest destruction. Some of the ill effects of deforestation are soil erosion, droughts, habitat loss of wildlife, global warming, extinction of some species and danger for the survival of local communities.

What are the Two Types of Nuclear Reactions?

Nuclear reactions are categorized into fusion and fission reactions. Nuclear fusion is defined as the joining of two nuclei of a light element, such as hydrogen, to produce a heavier nucleus. Nuclear fission is defined as the splitting of a heavy atomic nucleus into two smaller atoms of roughly equal mass, such as that of uranium or plutonium.

The general meaning of the term “nuclear reactions” implies various processes, which either change the intrinsic states of nuclear particles or cause their transmutations. A nuclear reactor is a structure designed to accommodate all the equipment and material required to produce and monitor the nuclear reaction cycle. The most commonly used nuclear fuel is uranium-235. This is a naturally occurring isotope of uranium. Nuclear energy finds many applications in the field of scientific research industry and medicine in the form of radioactive isotopes.

Causes for Deforestation and its Effects

Deforestation is a very important issue in the evolution of the environment. Forests are disappearing and the causes are urbanization, growing consumerism, rapid industrialization, population growth and overpopulation, lack of education and awareness programs regarding real cost of the destruction of forests and legal provisions for the safeguarding of the forests.

Deforestation accelerates to meet short term needs. It generates income that can be used to meet the minimum acceptable consumption level. However, using deforestation in this way means that this current consumption is at the expense of future consumption. The existence of high levels of debt may cause countries to behave in a myopic fashion, with higher levels of deforestation than would occur with lower-level debt.


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