NUCLEAR POWER

Nuclear power is produced by controlled nuclear reactions.

The plants that produce nuclear power are called Nuclear Power Plants. There are not any Nuclear Power Plants in Austria. There is one plant in Zwentendorf, but it has never been opened.

Nuclear Power provides about 6 % of  the world`s energy and 13% of  the world´s electricity. The United States, France and Japan are the world´s biggest producers, together they hold about 50% of all Nuclear Power Plants.

Nuclear Power is a big risk for humans and nature, if there happens an accident like Chernobyl and Fukushima.

The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear accident that happened on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukraine. It was the worst accident in history and the only one that was classified as level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale. During a systems test a series of explosions happened and highly radioactive smoke fallout into the atmosphere. Large parts of the Soviet Union and Europe had troubles after that accident, some were contaminated, a lot of people died or suffered from illnesses like cancer. Today there are still radioactive damages and people are living there.

After a big earthquake and a tsunami a series of accidents happened at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. The reactors were shut down automatically after the earthquake, the tsunami flooded the plant and knocked out the emergency generators. So they were unable to run the pumps that cool and control the reactors. As a result four of six reactors exploded and radioactivity came into the atmosphere. Scientists are still trying hard to get control over the situation, because they fear a Supergau.

In Europe people are now afraid of the Nuclear Power and started discussions to stop such plants. Humans want to get their electricity from alternative energy plants.

Alternative energy means:

• Solar energy (generating of electricity from sun)

• Wind energy (generating of electricity from wind)

• Geothermal energy (using hot water from the Earth’s interior for heating buildings or electricity generation)   

•Biofuel and Ethanol

•Hydrogen (used as clean fuel for airplanes, spaceships, and vehicles)


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