Monday, April 13, 2009

How best to make the prospect of nuclear power in Southeast Asia come true

“Prospects of Nuclear Power in Southeast Asia” does include both nuclear fission and nuclear fusion. However, the speaker only concentrated on nuclear fission, ignoring nuclear fusion. The speaker highlighted various problems associated with the use of nuclear fission reactors, but I believe that all these problems can be dispelled with the use of nuclear fusion reactors.
The first problem is that of nuclear waste disposal. Nuclear fission produces radioactive wastes that have half lives up to thousands of years, making it hard to store them properly. However, the wastes from nuclear fusion would only have half lives of about 50 years and thus it only needs to be stored for a shorter amount of time before being released. The second problem of nuclear proliferation also disappears as Plutonium-239 is not produced as waste in nuclear fusion reactors. The third problem of danger due to accidents is also minimized as runaway nuclear fusion is impossible due to the delicate nature of its process.
Thus it is obvious that the advantages of nuclear fusion reactor would remove all considerations of implementing nuclear power in anyone’s mind. Just one major problem with fusion is that currently it has negative efficiency. Research on nuclear fusion is been actively done to overcome this problem. However various difficulties are being encountered with some estimate of a possible nuclear fusion reactor only at the year 2050. However, looking at the desperate need of a cheap and non-polluting source of energy, the speaker should also encourage the audience to contribute to the feasibility of nuclear fusion as soon as possible.
The physics major students can contribute by increasing the number of talents working on that field, the sociology students can help research on how best to overcome the psychological difficulties of the public in accepting nuclear energy, the economics students can help plan how best to implement the nuclear energy in the near future. The main question unanswered is how best to make the prospect of nuclear power in Southeast Asia come true.

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