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Paper Topic:

Advancements in technology may benefit humanity or may come at the risk of doing harm. Identify a technological advancement that you regard as an example of this dilemma and discuss your thoughts about future implications.

TECHNOLOGY - BOON OR BANE

The minute nucleus of an atom contains a massive amount of energy . This discovery changed the world forever , for better or for worse , we still cannot be sure . When two small nuclei combine to form a large nucleus (nuclear fusion ) or when a massive nucleus breaks into smaller fragments (nuclear fission , a large amount of energy is released . Both these nuclear processes have the ultimate potential to be termed as the `discovery of the millennium . But there are big question marks as to what this seemingly harmless discovery has given

to the world

When the nuclear processes are properly controlled , they can be used to give the world large amounts of energy at a low cost . This technology has the potential to solve our energy problems forever without threatening to finish up or exhaust . We would never need to use any fossil fuels , which are exhaustible , nor will we need renewable resources like solar or tidal power which give low outputs for huge inputs . Nuclear processes , therefore , are a very lucrative technology from this point of view . But the other side of the coin makes us shrink back in anguish . Nuclear fission does evolve large amounts of energy but the end products of the process are the radioactive wastes that emit cancer causing radiations . They safe disposal of these wastes is a big challenge and is deterring us from exploiting this technology on an extensive scale . Nuclear fusion is a comparatively clean process in this respect but it is still in the experimental stage

Where controlled nuclear processes pose the problem of waste disposal uncontrolled reactions are even more dangerous . When these reactions go uncontrolled due to any technical fault , the results are devastating Three Mile Island and Chernobyl accidents are well known examples of what can be the repercussions . Any small miscalculation , technological fault or even sheer bad luck , and the energy released accidentally would not only burn and char all things for miles around , but will also render the area uninhabitable for decades to come . Cancer would acquire epidemic proportions in the unfortunate area and the scars of the tragedy will be visible in the generations to come

There is another dimension to uncontrolled nuclear reactions that is even more distressing . Purposefully uncontrolled nuclear reactions form nuclear bombs or similar weapons . This is the darkest aspect of nuclear technology . It has started and perpetuated an arms race , a movement to acquire nuclear weapons among countries which can afford to do so Whether for self defense or for terrorizing others , the nuclear arsenals are being developed and hoarded by all and sundry . If these weapons are used in any modern day war , it would mean the destruction of human race on this earth . Large amounts of money which could be used for so many fruitful purposes are being wasted on developing weapons that can destroy and devastate . It is a chain reaction (pun intended ) that has gripped the world and is leading it towards self...

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