33 years have passed since the tragic events that took place at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. We had to go through a lot, regret a lot, rethink a lot. One of the sore problems, which still continues to attract attention, was and remains the problem of the safety of nuclear power stations.
Well, since today it was decided at the level of strategic development of the overwhelming number of economies in the world that it is impossible or untimely to completely abandon the operation of nuclear power plants, it should at least reconsider the attitude to their unconditional safety.
Countries with powerful nuclear potential, using nuclear energy as a guiding vector in development, should make every effort to ensure that nuclear energy becomes an industry with a minimum of risks. And let the terrible lessons of this terrible tragedy lie only in the plots of science fiction novels for a wide audience the memories of the Chernobyl disaster. But they should be an everyday reference book for every next reformer in the nuclear industry – a point of no return.
Today, the energy obtained by the fission of uranium atoms is used to generate electricity in 30 countries. The experimental nuclear reactor, designed and built by Enrico Fermi back in 1942, became the prototype of a source of generating significant amounts of electricity worldwide.
Whether such a reactor is more economical and environmentally acceptable than other sources of energy is the subject of lively public debate. The issue of ensuring the safety of nuclear power plants, the problems of radioactive waste management are constantly being considered at various international scientific conferences.
The construction of new nuclear power plants causes objective criticism and increased objections from opponents and environmentalists. Nevertheless, most people, even in order to fight for the environment, are unlikely to agree with the potentially possible in connection with this lowering of living standards, the rejection of the use of modern electronic devices that make our life easier, but absorb electricity.
Mankind continues to solve the problems associated with ensuring the safety of electricity generation and the reliable disposal of radioactive waste to this day. 294 radiation incidents were officially recorded worldwide prior to the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which resulted in the deaths of 37 people out of 1370 directly exposed to radiation.
These numbers increased several times as a result of the Chernobyl disaster, and the accident itself became the most tragic event in the history of the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Almost all “nuclear countries”, drawing lessons from the Chernobyl accident, revised their attitude to their own nuclear systems, some, such as Italy, refused to use them at all, others only suspended their construction and partial operation, and others strengthened security policy in case state of emergency.
The Chernobyl accident was the first catastrophe, the tragic consequences of which spread far beyond the borders of the state in which territory it occurred. The whole Europe felt the fallout to a greater or lesser extent, and in Britain the isotopes from the radioactive cloud fell on a vast territory of farmland in Wales and in Scotland.
The events in Chernobyl were followed by a lot of thought, discussion and an open skirmish between supporters and opponents of nuclear energy. The safety systems at all nuclear power plants have undergone rigorous and repeated testing.
Those who belong to the anti-nuclear lobby came to the conclusion that their point of view was correct – the safety of electricity generation cannot be fully implemented, which means that the use of nuclear energy should be completely abandoned. In any case, environmental protection around the world has become more influential and has secured the support of a large number of those who are working on the development of alternative energy sources.
Powerful source of energy
For the first time, energy production at nuclear power plants became a fait accompli in the mid-50s of the last century, in Obninsk in the USSR and in Calder Hall in the UK. Proponents of new technologies were quick to point out the advantages of a new type of “cheap electricity” generation, while they did not mention the dangers associated with the new type of technology.
Today, advanced economies continue to use nuclear energy as one of their main sources of electricity. The global crisis, the rise and fall of coal and oil prices, the resulting cataclysms in a number of countries have led to more and more attention being paid to the issue of saving and maintaining fuel reserves, as well as the use of alternative energy.
The advanced states, one after another, are applying a new energy policy, with priority being given to the use of safer, more efficient, and more economical ways to use non-renewable energy supplies. And most importantly, the leading countries, which have successfully applied such inexhaustible energy sources as wind, tides, sunlight, bioenergetics, have already announced the undeniable future of just such an energy generation practice. It is an expensive process today, but it is an indisputable fact that it will become the vector of further development of the global energy industry – safe, environmental, effective.
Undoubtedly, all industrial countries need a huge amount of electricity to maintain a decent standard of living for their people. Its worldwide production may be due to fossil fuels, renewable energy sources, and due to the fission of uranium atoms.
It is important to know that the issue of environmental protection and the safety of energy production must be given priority in order for anyone to use all the listed benefits of human civilization. The Chernobyl disaster, as well as a number of other accidents in the field of nuclear energy, teach precisely this.