Boundaries A Casebook in Environmental Ethics

Boundaries A Casebook in Environmental Ethics






Issues pertaining to nuclear energy have always brewed contention. This is especially having in mind that one of the key problems in the current generation is energy. The book, “Boundaries: A Casebook in Environmental Ethics” offers a comprehensive analogy of issues pertaining to nuclear energy and environmental concerns. When nuclear energy was first discovered, it seemed to solve the problem of pollution to the environment. This is because it did not have any emissions. However, it comes with various other problems especially pertaining to the disposability of the waste produced during nuclear energy production. This is because of the highly radioactive nature of the waste. Evidently, the production of nuclear energy comes with obvious advantages. Not only will it fill the energy deficiency but it will also ensure that the energy comes at a low cost. While all states are willing to participate in partaking the benefits of the nuclear energy, they are lost as to how and where they should dispose the waste. Scientists have identified Yucca Mountain in Nevada as an ideal place where the waste can be disposed off.

However, there are questions as to the safety of the materials not only for the current generations but also future generations. As David in the passage argues, there are no scientific findings that have proved that the waste will be detrimental. However, Nawaraj notes that the absence of evidence does not mean that it is not there. David and Stephanie feel that, the current generation is the most appropriate as far as making decisions as to radioactive waste disposal is concerned. In essence, they feel that the disposal of the waste in holes drilled would be appropriate. However, Nawaraj feels that such methods of disposal would be shifting the risks to the future generations while the current generations share the benefits. He feels that such an action would be unfair to the future generations, and no amount of compensation would be sufficient to cover for the ills visited upon them by the current generation. Nawaraj feels that, the most appropriate way of disposing the waste is by storing it in monitored and retrievable storage sites that are situated all over the country. As time goes by, the new technologies will be developed dealing with the waste in better ways than the ones proposed. In addition, it would give future generations a choice as to the ways or methods in which it solves the problem.

This chapter comes up with an all-inclusive analysis of the issues pertaining to nuclear energy, as well as the contentious issues. It gives a history of the production of nuclear energy, its advantages and its disadvantages. It mainly concentrates on disposal of the radioactive waste, the solution proposed as to burying the waste in Yucca Mountain, and the ethical issues. This disposal method is examined comprehensively, and its flaws brought to light in a commendable manner.

However, it is worth noting that the chapter does not provide the way forward as far as the disposal of radioactive waste is concerned. The alternative proposed comes with loopholes as to its being misused by dictators in the future, with the only advantage being that it allows the future generations to choose the best way to dispose the materials. In my opinion, the chapter only criticizes the current method based on morality and indebtedness to future generations. In addition, it provides no feasible ways of disposing the materials. For example, recycling would have come off as better than the methods proposed.

Works cited

Gudorf, Christine E.; Huchingson, James E. Boundaries: A Casebook in Environmental Ethics. Georgetown University Press. (2010) Kindle Edition.