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Atoms for Peace?

The discovery of the nuclear energy in the twentieth century is one of the most ambiguous scientific achievements in the history of mankind. It is strongly associated both with some of the most horrific world tragedies and the most interesting technological ideas. So, what is more important when considering the issue of atomic energy, its benefits or its dangers?

On the one hand, the advantages of using the nuclear technology are difficult to overestimate. A single nuclear power plant can produce as much energy as four fuel-burning ones. However, it does not pollute the air or depend on the oil deposits. Being the most destructive application of the atomic energy, nuclear weapons still perform a very special function of sustaining the world peace, as everybody understands the the use of them in case of World War III would totally destroy our planet.

Nevertheless, I strongly disagree with the idea that these benefits overweigh the dangers. Together with successful peaceful applications of nuclear energy, the world experienced the two most appalling tragedies: Hiroshima bombing in 1945, which took 166 000 lives as a result of the explosion itself and far reaching effects, such as radiation sickness and cancer, and Chernobyl catastrophe of 1986, which resulted in the radioactive contamination of a huge territory and emergency evacuation of more than 200 000 people. These two examples are more than enough to realize what a destructive force the atomic technology could be. Even when being used for peaceful purposes, it requires strict safety rules, which are often violated.

So, whatever the advantages of the technology are, its use is connected with too many dangers. And if the price of a single mistake is the total demolition of our wonderful green planet, is it really worth using?


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