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Sunday, June 16, 2024

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Safe solution for the Energy crisis | Ethan Mendis

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ශ්‍රී LankaNZ is a free distributed Sri Lankan Community Newspaper that aims to reach a Sri Lankan population of over 18,000 all over New Zealand. The demand for entertainment in literacy media itself gave birth to ශ්‍රී LankaNZ

In the past we used to have very simple energy needs such as food, water and shelter. But today in the modern world our energy needs are very complex. 

This article will cover one of the biggest crises we face today, and an answer to the cleanest forms of energy.

About seventy years ago traditional power generation methods like hydroelectric power or coal burning were enough for day to day needs. Transportation back then was primarily based on fossil fuels. But with the complexity of human needs and wants our energy consumption has increased by 800% compared to the 1950s.

We are now suddenly changing our transportation to electric cars and planes. Then there is Solar and wind power with their own limitations and can’t be dependent as primary energy sources. Currently over 79% of the world’s energy is produced by fossil fuels and only 6% of our energy only comes from other energy sources such as hydroelectric power.

There is a clean, and efficient way to generate electricity. Nuclear fission has the highest efficiency of all energy sources and it gives out no carbon emissions. Earth itself holds enough nuclear fuel for 4 billion years. Thorium, a nuclear fuel, is so energy dense that a lifetime supply of thorium energy could be held in your hand.

But why do we fear nuclear energy?

This hatred started with the WWII (1945) atomic  bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki which killed hundreds of people and the effects are still being felt today. This lead to believe that  nuclear bombs were unsafe and therefore nuclear energy is unsafe too. 

Historical anti nuclear campaigns were never based on scientific evidence but were based on fear.

Fact – 1kg of Uranium can power Wellington for an entire week. 

Scientists and nuclear engineers are working hand in hand to safely reliably produce energy from Nuclear Fission. Today’s fears are based on radioactive waste although modern day scientists have proved safe methods to dispose of radioactive waste in closed containers. Our Sun is an example of a Nuclear reactor since its constantly powering through Nuclear fusion to sustain life on earth. Let’s be open minded about Nuclear energy as an option to future energy crises. You never know one day you may drive away in a Nuclear energy sourced Ferrari!

By Ethan Mendis – 12 years old

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