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Debating Whether Nuclear Power Should Be Developed For Future Energy Supplies

1766 words - 7 pages

Debating Whether Nuclear Power Should Be Developed for Future Energy Supplies

Introduction

I am writing this essay to debate the idea of having nuclear power
developed for future use by us. This takes on a major issue and covers
many aspects of our nations energy use both in present and for the
future.

When we think about nuclear power we do not automatically think of it
as a non renewable energy source. This is because it is not part of
the fossils fuels; coal, oil and gas, which we all know will not last
us as reliable energy sources for much longer. However, nuclear power
is a non renewable energy source and has many dedicated power stations
located around the UK. Nuclear energy is considered an important fuel
to produce energy as it currently provides 28% of this country’s
needs, compared to the feeble 1% of renewable energy used.

How is nuclear energy made?

Nuclear energy is obtained by processes of nuclear fission and fusion.
In nuclear fission the energy is released by splitting the atom
sending a neutron blasting through the nucleus, this makes other
neutrons fly off at high speeds setting up a chain reaction. Nuclear
fusion is the opposite by which the nuclei of two or more atoms fuse
together, in the process mass is lost and this is then converted into
energy.

Production of energy takes place inside a nuclear reactor which
consists of a core surrounded by a thick concrete shield, steam pipes,
turbines and a final (electricity) generator. After the mining of the
ore (this is mainly uranium or plutonium ore) has been done the pure
uranium is turned into uranium dioxide which is made into pellets.
Several of these pellets are placed inside fuel rods. Usually there
are about 90,000 fuel rods placed in the core of a reactor. Nuclear
fission takes place inside the core by which the isotope splits using
the atoms in the uranium dioxide from the pellets. The immense heat
produced by this is carried away by fluid circulating through the
reactor core. Once the fluid becomes heated it is used to produce
steam, this steam drives the turbines which in turn rotate the main
electricity generators to produce clean, reliable electricity.

During this process there is a massive amount of radiation and so this
is why the core is surrounded by a thick concrete shield to absorb
this radiation.

Arguments FOR using and developing nuclear power

To satisfy our general needs of heating our water, heating our homes,
cooking our food, powering our appliances and lighting our rooms, we
need to retrieve energy from the many many methods available to us.
One of these choices is nuclear energy. There are very good reasons
why it should be considered and developed further, to be used in the
future. Firstly, by comparing it to the other non renewable energy
sources (coal, oil...

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