What are some cons of having a nuclear power plant built in a place like Burlington, Ontario?What are some cons of having a nuclear power plant built in a place like Burlington, Ontario?

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marbar57 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Burlington, Ontario, Canada is a beautiful city located in a triangular-shaped area of the southeastern portion of the province, with Niagara Falls at one corner, Lake Ontario at another corner, and the city of Toronto at the remaining corner. It has a population of about 200,000 people and the area's population density is medium to heavy. It is a city of great beauty: parks, waterways, forests, wildlife, historic landmarks. It's beauty, location, and local economy make it the 3rd most desirable city in which to reside in Canada, all of which could be jeopardized or damaged by the presence of a nuclear power plant.

Since the 2011 Japan earthquake and resulting tsunami, nuclear power plants have lost popularity as a means of producing power. If you recall, the earthquake disabled several nuclear facilities at Fukashima, which melted down releasing radioactive materials into the air and ground. Some experts estimate it will take years and years for the radioactivity to dissipate and many people may yet die.

The area where Burlington is located is prone to earthquakes, too, and a nuclear power plant in the area could cause a catastrophic chain of events that could affect millions of lives, cause astronomical damage, and cost untold billions of dollars! Another con against the building of one is the nuclear waste it would generate. All that radioactive water has to go somewhere and we don't want it going into the waters of Lake Ontario!

I think nuclear power plants are a thing of the past and that there are newer, safer, cleaner ways of generating electricity.


brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I live 30 miles from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, so let me tell you about some cons.  There currently exists no long term solution to the safe and responsible storage of high level radioactive waste, nor is there enough existing space to store it safely in the short term.  Yucca Mountain Repository, if it were to ever open (which now seems unlikely) would instantly be full, with 40% of America's existing high level waste still looking for a home.

Nuclear power is clean, true, but it is also very expensive to build power plants and maintain them.  The power plants at Hanford have never turned a profit, and the federal government spends more than $2.5 billion per year keeping it open and the waste maintained for the moment.  On numerous occasions, the State of Washington (most recently three yers ago) had to file suit against the Department of Energy for not properly funding the waste cleanup project at Hanford, as required by law.

Perhaps new technology makes them safer, or perhaps they are better designed than Hanford was.  I wouldn't take a chance, however.

vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As someone has already suggested, the main problem with building a nuclear power plant anywhere is what to do with the radioactive waste material.  Another problem, these days, involves the possibility of terrorism. Imagine the consequences if some group highjacked an airplane and crashed it into an atomic power plant.  A decade or so ago this possibility would have seemed inconceivable; now it is not inconceivable at all. The problem with nuclear power is that if anything major goes wrong, the effects can not only be catastrophic but long-lasting. I look forward to the day when we can harness other forms of energy such as the wind, sun, and tides and do it in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think #3 is a good response as it focuses on the immense difficulties of storing rods for the large duration needed until they become safe. This means that in a sense it doesn't matter where nuclear stations are placed as nuclear power itself necessitates this great challenge in order to ensure that no contamination occurs. The bigger question you should be asking is if our reliance on nuclear power should be ended and if we should all be investing much heavily in greener forms of energy. You might like to consider Germany's recent decision to scrap nuclear power entirely and move towards renewable forms of energy.

justaguide eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Nuclear power plants should not be built in an area that has a relatively heavy population density when sparsely populated areas can easily be found in Canada. In the case of an accident it becomes very difficult to deal with it when the number of people that can be affected is so large. This is one of the main reasons why a nuclear plant should not be built in Burlington. There does not seem to be any logical argument that can justify its construction there.

readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A nuclear power plant near any city is dangerous. Many reasons have been given already, which area all legitimate. There is another con though. Public reaction will not be good. No one in their right mind would want it. In short, it would be a public relation nightmare. After what has happened in Japan, a new nuclear power plant will not settle well with too many people.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The issue of radioactive waste is not really about water getting released into Lake Ontario.  It is, instead, about finding some place to store spent nuclear fuel rods for the thousands of years that they need to stop being radioactive.  This would be a problem, of course, no matter where a nuclear power plant is built.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Generally, there is no reason not to have the nuclear power plant near a city unless it is particularly earthquake prone.  They are generally very safe.  However, there is always a potential for an accident, and no city wants that.

susanzb | Student

hmmm first thing that comes to my mind is the possibility of radiation exposure, and pollution.  Burlinton is a big city.  I would hate to think about the fallout if something ever went wrong at the plant.  :(





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