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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Champlain College Saint-Lambert Flashback Assignment: Humanities for Science Programs - Short Essay

Hello, everyone.

First of all, you won't be seeing that many customized blog posts on my other site, because it will put in some stress on me to create something that won't involve issues around copyright. In fact, it will take so many posts in order for me to make a profit so that way it can be used as part of the payment for my education at University of Waterloo this fall. I am planning to write different e-books instead, but you'll see me first writing a whole bunch of blogs right here on my existing blog site.

Because I am having major problems with getting a job, I am thinking that to help my parents out pay my university education, I want to run a GoFundMe campaign where I would set a small goal and over the next two months, I keep on sharing the word to multiple pages and communities for users to make a contribution. But I have to build some support first because as soon as the campaign runs, I should see some donations made in the first seven days.

And so you will see me write those blog posts that mostly contain my own assignments, and also some JAVA coding. It's time for me to get busy, because I better grab other people's attention and encourage them to follow me on Twitter!

Anyway, for this blog, I want to present to you one of my assignments I had to do for school last fall. The blogs I write will be a series of flashback assignments that you can read, or look at, and learn something or simply have a feeling about this. Of course, if you have complaints about this, I don't mind if you state them; the trouble is, these assignments are original, and thus it would be ridiculous if I have to change them for a public point of view.

Authenticity is stored whenever something is not modernized or changed in recent time; it's sort of like over two years ago when I was watching a few elevator videos made by a Swedish YouTube user named hissen12, and an American truck driver named Andrew Reams (known on YouTube as DieselDucy) who now works as a train conductor for Norfolk Southern. They recorded videos of elevators that were modernized, and for sure, the overall presentation has been messed up!

What I have here is a 836-word short essay on an ethical issue I decided to make up for my last Humanities course, which is exploring many different ethical issues and learning three key different philosophies in determining a possible answer for this issue. They are consequentialism (states of consequences), deontology (duties), and virtue ethics (a compromise of the two, only it takes a look at the characteristics of a being and not a particular action). There is still some specific philosophies unraveled in these three key ethical approaches altogether, but they have their own definition.

The ethical issue discussed here is about the Darlington Nuclear Power Station that's located about 70 km from Toronto, on the north shore of Lake Ontario. Here, I discussed the issue using five different sources all referenced using the Modern Language Association format, and applied mostly consequentialism and deontology to see whether or not according to my ethical approach, I should favor for the maintenance of the facility.

This assignment was completed on September 21, 2013, six days before my 20th birthday.

Ontario Power Generation proposes to fix the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station to continue generating electricity, but there are criticisms against it because of negative consequences. Should OPG proceed with the massive overhaul of the station? (Spears 1-3) I shall give a quick summary on this issue from this essay, present an analysis to both perspectives on the issue, and provide a critical assessment on this issue, consisting of the strengths of weaknesses of both positions and which one is the most defensible. To sum, I shall argue the OPG should not go ahead with the major repairs at the station; in fact, I will even argue that Ontario should place a ban on nuclear power.
            The people affected by the issue are the officials of OPG (Spears 2), and both the supporters and officials of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (Spears 3). OPG Chief Executive Tom Mitchell states that the generating station "is a world-class performer; maintenance work will let it provide us another 25 to 30 years of low-emission power at an affordable cost." (Spears 8) In addition, the four reactors at the plant generate "20% of Ontario's electricity." (Spears 9) Opponents, such as the Canadian Environmental Law Association, are very concerned about the overhaul, the economics involved, its reliability, and what can happen in the future, emphasizing the events at Fukushima and Chernobyl. (Spears 23-30)
            In the perspective of OPG executives, they want to refurbish the station because the executive specifically says it provides another period of electricity (Spears 8) with low CO2 emissions, since nuclear power is an alternative to fossil-fuel based energy. (Parson 51) This perspective is based on consequentialism; values are based on maximizing pleasure, freedom and welfare, and it follows the principle on some advantages being better than without nuclear power. Nuclear power is on the emphasis of “putting climate first,” with concerns on other sources of electricity, as well as multiple negative effects on climate change and environment disturbances. (Parson 52-54) Opposition, on the other hand, disagrees with the proposal, because of potential risks for nuclear disaster (Spears 30), plus several negative implications such as evacuation plans (Spears 27). The opponents’ perspective is deontological; it follows the principal on having the duty to prevent nuclear disasters and other negative consequences, as well as failing this choice to be justified by the effects. The values of this are based on responsibility, benevolence [a nuclear fallout forces land exclusion], and health. (Burnor and Raley 25-26) Even with technological advancements, oppositions are finding nuclear power unreliable because of how engineers underestimate Mother Nature, and how they question the new technology; there exists a problem of a moral decision for hope. (Chakrabarti and Sen 8) In addition, even though politics can favor and support efforts in maintaining a nuclear power station, reliable nuclear power, by itself, is too costly. (Slocum 1-2)
            I find the position of not going ahead with repairing the Darlington nuclear station more defensible. Going forward with the repair does bring advantage of delivering power to the millions of people in Ontario, but with a risk of nuclear disasters and economy issues. Not going forward ensures safety of Ontario from radioactive poisoning or land exclusion, as well as avoiding environmental damage from the radioactive fuel, at the cost of responsibility needed to find other ways to generate electricity or to conserve power and save energy. Both perspectives are based on values and moral principles in a way that influence not only the station itself, but also the people who pay to use the electricity from the plant. The opposition perspective is stronger than the perspective for going ahead with the repairs of the station, because considering what happened in Fukushima, being protected from the nature of radiation and keeping the land from exclusion, instead of making way for it to be excluded, is more valuable than letting us have electricity that its power source is delicate to handle. Additionally, the position will not pose the risks for using an energy source that is money-wasting to make it reliable and safe. This decision will benefit the opposition and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, especially those who do not want to be in a wake similar to Fukushima, but it will harm the Ontario Power Generation and part of the population that use the electricity from the generating station.
            In conclusion, I have argued that Ontario Power Generation should not proceed to repair and upgrade the facilities and reactors at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station, and additionally, nuclear power should be banned in Ontario. I have given a summary of the ethical issue and case involved, and provided an analysis on both perspectives with the appropriate ethical approaches and values. Finally, I gave out my own critical assessment on this issue, explaining the effects of my decision and why it is more defensible. Now, what source of energy should we provide to the previous and current customers of Ontario’s Darlington Nuclear Generating Station that will not have risks for a nuclear disaster?
Spears, John. "Ontario's Nuclear Debate Re-Ignites." Toronto Star. Dec 01 2012. ProQuest.          Web. Accessed 15 Sep. 2013.
Chakrabarti, Sharadindra, and Ranen Sen. "A Critique On Technological Development, Risks       And Ethics." Current Science (00113891) 101.1 (2011): 8. Academic Search Premier.     Web. 17 Sept. 2013.
Parson, Sean. "‘Climate First’? The Ethical And Political Implications Of Pronuclear Policy In      Addressing Climate Change." Ethics, Policy & Environment 15.1 (2012): 51-56.            Academic Search Premier. Web. 17 Sept. 2013.
Burnor, Richard, and Yvonne Raley. Ethical Choices: An Introduction to Moral Philosophy with   Cases. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Print. (This is to use the moral and nonmoral values only, pages 25 and 26.)
Slocum, Tyson. "We can't Afford to Expand Nuclear Power." U.S.News & World Report. Feb. 2012. ProQuest. Web. 15 Sep. 2013 . 

As you see from this assignment alone, I decided to go with the position against the repair of the facility because of the reasons specified in my essay. You can address some more statements about my position if you like, but I'm still certain that some people still want to trust nuclear power. A bit of research on Wikipedia would give you some more output on power generation in Ontatio, but I'm pretty sure that for environmental activists and advocates, it would be pretty distressing.

The last thing for Ontario to see is a nuclear meltdown at the station, because the radioactive fallout will contaminate not only the farms and forests, but also the lakes and winds could carry it to Toronto or somewhat beyond. Part of Highway 401 will have to be sectioned off, creating serious traffic problems. Unless we have fast decontamination methods that could also function well for other disaster sites, we will have to face the reality of the half-life of those independent unstable nuclei on the ground, in plants, in animals, essentially in all things that we desire to use for life.

Anyway, thanks for reading and I'll see you next time!

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