During the early stages of nuclear power there were many accidents that resulted in several people's deaths and the destruction of millions of dollars of property. The accidents at Chernobyl which killed over 30 people and the incident at Three Mile Island are just a few of the catastrophes that occurred. How could something like energy be more important than the lives of innocent people? The race to perfect nuclear power continued and although many countries rely on nuclear power to operate effectively, it does not mean that nuclear power plants are without faults. They have numerous flaws in design and are not only producing power but harmful radiation as well.
Opponents of nuclear power argue that the waste that is produced is harmful and can persist for thousands of years. Today, thousands of tons of radioactive nuclear waste are constantly being moved through several states (Arnold). Robert K. Musil, PSR Executive Director, stated,Even one severe accident in this transporting of nuclear waste would cause up to 18,000 latent cancer deaths and cost over ten billion dollars to clean up?(Arnold). Not only is transportation of nuclear waste a problem but there are also decisions being made on where to store it. Currently, there are plans to dump waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Although the waste would be buried deep underground, the site is only ninety miles from Las Vegas (Arnold). Many people are afraid that if the waste is dumped at the site it may leak into underground water sources. If this were to occur, the results would be disastrous. Contact with nuclear waste can cause cancer andgenetic mutations? (Clearfield). The harmful waste that is produced during nuclear fission is almost unmanageable and can be very dangerous if not contained.
Nevertheless, nuclear waste can become less harmful than the waste produced in other power production methods. Direct contact with nuclear waste can cause cancer, but so can breathing smoke from the burning of coal and oil.