Monday, 10 November 2014
Apparently nuclear science is the future of all of man's endeavors and key to open doors to the clean energy that we all desire. It is true that there has been some problems on the way, several accidents but we learn a great deal and new unexpected discoveries are made. Over the years, we have relied on the conventional ways of food preservation that slows down the bacterial agents that causes food poisoning. Recently, food can be preserved using irradiation. This method is used in the South East Asian countries of Indonesia, Thailand, and South Korea. It is WHO approved meaning it has no adverse effects to the food or cause no harm to when consumed. Irradiation, preserves longer than refrigeration. This is through the discovery of radiation that true is harmful in that it kills vital cells and organs to any living organism, but on the other side if well manipulated, it is used to preserve and maintain the quality of any agricultural produce. This is just ways how nuclear science and technology is evolving past the use of making destructive weapons and generation of energy. Countries going nuclear, discover the benefits and utilize for their economic and social needs. From observation, countries that have embraced use of nuclear technology enjoy an economic growth of more than 8% and also an increased investor interest. Kenya is looking forward to tripple her economic growth rate and one of the pillars is sustainable energy, where a significant part will come from nuclear energy.
Just recently the Food and Agricultural Organization (F.A.O) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A), made a scientific breakthrough in identifying the Asian Fruit Fly and the Philippine Fruit Fly as identical through genetic mapping and a way to combat the menace that has dogged the horticultural industry of Asia and Africa. Through Irradiation, where the male fruit flies are sterilized and released to the populous this results to reduction of the population thus limiting their movements and population increase. Over the years the horticultural industry particularly in Africa has faced challenges owing to the fruit fly. It has made farmers to spend more on pesticide and still have to meet a particular level of toxins inside the fruits that will not be harmful for human consumption. The use of nuclear technology in this is phenomenal as it will be used to save horticultural farmers a lot of money from buying pesticides that later will affect the environment as these chemicals sip into the soil. This is relevant for Kenya where most of her exports come from horticulture industry. Use of nuclear technology will not just be used in controlling the pests and diseases, but in food preservation through irradiation. This something that Kenya needs, not just for electricity generation but other uses such as agriculture, research and medicine.
Tuesday, 4 November 2014
The Fukushima Dai Chii power plant had been considered the worst ever nuclear accident since Chernobyl, but unlike Chernobyl, Japan is now making plans to reopen the power plant after new safety measures have been put in place. Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe revealed a basic plan to bring back the 48 power plants that supply the country with 30 percent of her energy requirements online. This is also due to the current inconsistency of the current renewable sources of power and the increase of oil and gas imports for their thermal power plants. This closing down of their plants was a decision to look into the alternative of renewable energy, solar and wind but with the economic demands and her production capacity going down and an increase of 50% of power costs, forcing their major manufacturing plants to either reduce their production or lay off workers. A trade deficit of 120 million pounds from March 2011 and an insult to the Kyoto protocol that they have been upholding and further insulting as the protocol is named after one of their renowned cities. Carbon emissions have doubled as they have had to rely on oil and gas, which are expensive and have a lower energy output compared to nuclear power that will take years before replacing them. This is how significant nuclear power is to an economy and the environment. It is just a bit saddening that people tend to see the negative aspect and expect the worst rather than the positive possibilities. When the disaster hit everyone were up in arms claiming how nuclear energy and technology is dangerous, some reaped profits writing books and making sales using the Fukushima incident as a convincing tool for people to buy their products. This goes to companies dealing with oil, gas and solar. Oil, coal and gas have some serious adverse effects on the environment, to some extent one would say the dark ages are to blame as no scientific discovery was made and any attempt was deemed as religious blasphemy,so over the years, man has relied on the latter three. Introduction of nuclear technology could have been discovered earlier than the 20th century and now we could have made some several improvements where the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters would not have become the cliches of environmental disasters. Nuclear technology is here to stay and from every hitch something new is discovered and in the coming future, there will be little or no carbon emissions as oil and gas will be phased out and nuclear energy will be the conduit for nations to go green.