The risk of accidents

The environmental problem of nuclear power plants includes the danger involved in the process (which is dangerous in case of an accident or leak of radioactive material).
As regards the operation of nuclear power plants, there is a risk connected to the possible leaks of radioactive emissions following accidents or operating defects which may lead to very alarming consequences, as happened on the occasion of the notorious “Chernobyl disaster”.
Since it is very much like a normal thermoelectric power plant, the environmental impact of a nuclear power plant does not depend on its actual size, but rather on the safety of the equipment and the protection of the population.
In an active nuclear reactor there are approximately 1,000 tonnes of radio, more or less the quantity which leaked out of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. The development of nuclear energy requires that plants are at least far from densely populated areas. However this is not enough since, in case of accident, the radioactive elements are dispersed into the atmosphere in amounts that are dangerous for human beings and can be transported by the wind for thousands of kilometres.

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