The Arguments For and Against Nuclear Energy

By Prisha Goyal
In December 1942, Dr. Enrico Fermi was able to conduct the world’s first controllednuclear reaction. Since then, nuclear energy has been used in many ways, good andbad: In 1945, the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were attacked by utilizing atomicbombs, but after a peace act was signed between countries, we started using it formethods to generate electricity. In 1955, the town of Arco in Idaho became the first to use nuclear energy as its energy source.

There have been a lot of controversies ever since we discovered nuclear power aboutwhether we should use it or not. People who are against nuclear energy say thatnuclear energy can be used to make weapons — some of the deadliest known tohumans. There has been a non-proliferation treaty, but it has had little success. Anotherargument is that people are scared that there could be other disasters similar to

Chernobyl and Fukushima, which could lead to large areas remaining dangerous forhundreds of years. Finally, people argue that nuclear power plants release harmfulradioactive chemicals. We currently have no place to store them except at the sitesthemselves, which can negatively impact human health. People advocating for nuclearenergy say that it is stored in areas where it can’t be released. At the same time, smokefrom industrial factories is responsible for many deaths through lung cancer and otherrespiratory diseases. Proponents also mention that nuclear energy has the lowest deathrate among all other energy sources — even renewable ones like wind and solar.
It isn’t likely that we’ll completely switch over to nuclear energy, but we have toacknowledge that it releases fewer CO2 emissions than fossil fuels. And on a planetalready facing record-high temperatures and the threat of climate change, we need tomake more sustainable choices. We can choose nuclear energy now and not use it laterwhen we have made renewable sources more efficient and cost-effective. Butultimately, we need to make a choice — and fast.
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Nutshell, Kurzgesagt- In a. “3 Reasons Why Nuclear Energy Is Terrible! 2/3.” YouTube, 1Apr. 2015,
Nutshell, Kurzgesagt- In a. “3 Reasons Why Nuclear Energy Is Awesome! 3/3.” YouTube,1 Apr. 2015,
“Timeline of Nuclear Technology | American Experience | PBS.” 17 Mar. 2023,