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Energy

Nuclear power never worth the risks

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 September, 2011, 12:00am

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The nuclear crisis in Japan has caused widespread public concern. Workers at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant are still battling with radioactive leaks and contamination. Reactors went into nuclear meltdown after a tsunami hit the plant on March 11 and cooling systems failed.

Working in nuclear plants will always pose a risk. It must be very stressful to work in such places knowing that one tiny mistake could cause a huge disaster.

Vast sums of money have been spent - and are still being spent - trying to make nuclear plants safe. If nothing else, this disaster has shown that the risks are too great. Nuclear energy might make sense to some people, but in my opinion lives are more important. We should shut down every nuclear power plant - and find alternative energy sources.

Chung Chun-wai, Chiu Lut Sau Memorial Secondary School

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Chun-wai. Everyone is very concerned about the continuing nuclear crisis in Japan, mostly because they feel they are not being given truthful information. When the earthquake and tsunami first happened on March 11, the media was warning of impending disaster. It seems now that they have moved their attention away from the plant, with only a few reports coming out. The fact is that the struggle to control the reactors is still on-going.

Yet let us put this into context. Nuclear fuel is clean and efficient. The developed world needs to get away from using fossil fuels because they cause pollution and they could one day run out. This disaster has not killed anyone yet. We don't know if it will in the future. Cars, on the other hand, kill thousands of people around the world each day, yet no one would ever suggest that we stop using them.

We need to strike a balance between energy efficiency and safety so that we can continue to seek alternatives to the poisonous carbon-based fuels that kill people on a daily basis.

Susan, Editor