Nuclear fission or the splitting of the nucleus of an atom releases great
amounts of energy, much more than any other conventional energy source. Nuclear
energy has enormous potential as an energy source. There is almost limitless
supply of energy. However, radioactive by-products
and waste post serious health and environmental risks.
The atomic or nuclear
bomb is the uncontrolled release of nuclear energy. The
tremendous power and deadliness of this is evident when Hiroshima
and Nagasaki was destroyed by atomic bombs at the end of World War II in 1945.
The devastation was enormous, nothing like what human beings had seen before. it
is not something to be repeated. Even so, the major powers of the world now
possess enough atomic bombs to wipe out the
entire population of the world. It is a chilling thought that human beings are
now able to wipe themselves out. We can only hope that they have the sense not
In a nuclear reactor, the release of nuclear energy is controlled. This
energy is used for various purposes such as for generating electricity and
driving submarines. However, the reactor has to be maintained carefully. An
accident is potentially disastrous. The leakage of radioactive substances can
cause death to living things and pollution of the environment, such as that
which occurred at Chernobyl.
As it is now, nuclear energy bolds enormous
potential as an energy source but it is not totally safe to use. Perhaps one
day, with more research and knowledge, human beings will learn how to harness
nuclear energy safely.