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Problems and Concerns caused by Human Influences on the Environment Index
The control panel inside a nuclear power station
PROBLEMS AND CONCERNS CAUSED BY HUMAN INFLUENCES ON THE ENVIRONMENT
These two photographs show the memorial at Nagasaki, Japan.
Many countries have developed nuclear power to supply their energy needs. Nuclear power does not produce pollutant gases but it does produce nuclear waste. Nuclear waste is made up of radio-active substances. Radioactivity produces dangerous radiation which can damage living cells, causing cancer and affecting growth.
Much of this nuclear waste is treated in special factories to make it less dangerous. When nuclear power stations were first built, however, the nuclear wastes were dumped into the deep sea. No-one really knows whether or not these dangerous wastes will have any future effect on the food chains in the sea.
Britain and France accept nuclear wastes because they have built special factories to reprocess the waste. There are problems, however, in transporting nuclear waste. Many countries, such as Australia, will not allow ships carrying nuclear wastes or nuclear weapons into their ports.
Sometimes, awful accidents can happen. In Chernobyl, Russia, in 1986, a nuclear power station went out of control and much of the surrounding area was contaminated by radioactivity. The problem with radio-activity is that it can take years before the contaminated area is safe.
Other sources of energy
Many people do not agree with the use of nuclear power or the development of nuclear weapons. It has already been mentioned that some countries, such as Australia, do not allow ships carrying nuclear wastes or nuclear weapons into their ports.
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