Engineering And Environmental Ethics

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Engineering And Environmental Ethics

Engineering And Environmental Ethics


As an engineering consultant what I have gathered from the article is discussed in detail as follows. Nuclear energy is contained in the center, or nucleus of an atom. This energy is also known as atomic energy because its obtained from atoms, unfortunately this is not a good choice of words (because many other energies are obtained from atoms). An atomic bomb explosion shows just how powerful nuclear energy really is. This powerful type of energy comes from many things such as atoms and subatomic particles; an atom is a tiny bit of matter that has very little weight. (OECD Nuclear Energy Agency 2001:45) They are much too light to be weighed directly, but scientists have developed methods of determining these tiny weight by using special laboratory instruments. Hydrogen is the lightest of all atoms and carbon atoms weigh twelve times more than the hydrogen atom. Atoms that make up one element are not like atoms that make up another element.

These (atoms) are not simple particles, their structure is very complex. They are, in fact, made up of smaller bits of matter called subatomic particles. An atom has two parts. Those two parts are; 1)at the center is a nucleus, a densely packed core composed of two kinds of paticles: protons and neutrons and 2)electrons. The charge in a nucleus of an atom is carried by a particle called a proton, the number of protons in an atom's nucleus is calle the atomic number of the atom. Atomic numbers are always whole numbers such as +92. Each atomic number is always a whole number, and each chemical element has its own atomic number. Protons have a positive electrical charge, yet electrons have a negative charge and since opposite charges attract, it keeps them in their orbits around the nucleus. Neutrons are neutral and weigh a bit more than protons. The breaking apart or joining together of atomic nuclei is called a nuclear reaction.


Suppose you were about to drive a car on a long journey over dangerous mountain roads but at the outset you sought to reassure your passengers by telling them they would be quite safe because you were only planning to use one gear, never touch the brakes or ever turn the steering wheel. That more or less sums up the way that the UK Government set out its energy policy in its Energy White Paper of February 2003. Though containing the praiseworthy aims of ensuring reliable and affordable energy supplies while reducing UK CO2 emissions by 60% by 2050, an implied goal of a 30% cut by 2020, (Saunders 2007:25) mechanisms for achieving these objectives were hemmed in by multiple political constraints. Less than two years later it is now obvious that the policy as set out in the White Paper is untenable - because it relies almost entirely on the electricity sector to deliver it. As Figure 1 shows the level of CO2 emissions in the ...
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