The powerful earthquake which hit Japan on 11th March 2011 caused a tsunami which added to the destruction of millions of people’s homes and livelihoods.  A consequence of this terrible natural disaster was a man-made disaster - a nuclear power plant which supplies electricity to thousands of homes was damaged.

The Future of Nuclear Energy

The effects of the nuclear disaster in Japan will be largely unknown for many years, which makes nuclear power a very unstable option for countries looking to reduce their pollution.  On one hand nuclear power is a very effective and quick way of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.  But on the other hand the poisonous nature of nuclear waste and radiation poses a unpredictable threat to life on earth, much like climate change.  The most important lesson that we have learnt from the radiation leak in Japan is that we cannot predict nature, or completely protect ourselves from it.  The future of nuclear power is yet to be determined but it is likely that the threat of climate change is likely to outweigh the possible mishaps brought about by using nuclear power. 

To find out more about nuclear energy visit Energy Kids

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