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Nuclear Energy Essay

1256 words - 6 pages

Nuclear Energy
With nuclear energy beginning in the 1940s, the uses of this energy has broadened through the passage of time. Making its debut with the atomic bomb, nuclear energy has had a negative connotation from its conception during WWII. Although it won the war for us, many people viewed it as one step too far toward total in the U.S. But after the war, scientists began to pursue other adaptations of the energy source. With in being a very cost effective energy source, many countries had developed nuclear power plants throughout their countries because of it’s incredible power output ratio. Despite nuclear energy being a controversial topic, its incomparable energy output, its environmentally friendly procedure, and its high cost to savings ratio dwarfs the slight negative outlook to the enterprise.
While nuclear energy is naturally occurring, the controversial topic of nuclear power refers to man made reaction created within a nuclear reactor. Because of the negative connotation of the waste nuclear power plants create, many people have become weary of the idea that is nuclear energy. When in fact the precautions taken within the plant make the procedure incredible safe. The closest natural occurring nuclear reactions happen on our sun but man made reactions are done within chambers called reactors. In nuclear fission, the nuclei of a Uranium atom is split by shooting a neutron at the nuclei within the chamber. Once a uranium nucleus is split, multiple neutrons are released which are used to split other uranium nuclei causing a chain reaction thus, an unbelieveable amount of energy. This reaction creates immense amounts of heat and as it passes through water, it quickly evaporates the water turning it to steam which turns a turbine that creates a mass amount of electricity. To control the reaction, boron is used to absorb the neutrons to slow the reaction. Also, a pressurizer keeps the water from boiling but the water still achieves temps of 600 degrees fahrenheit. To keep the facility safe, barriers are built to keep in the radioactivity from being released into the outside world. The reaction chamber in made of 400 ton steel walls which are 8 inches thick. The type of reaction used in nuclear power plants is called fission but there is another variation to this reaction. This other reaction is known as fusion and instead of breaking apart nuclei, it fuses them together. This nuclear reaction is five times more powerful than fission but is unachievable on earth. So far it only happens on stars like our sun. Another connotation nuclear power has is that is harmful to the environment, but in reality, it is incredibly clean. Instead of using coal or oil to heat the water, the uranium reaction takes the place as the heating agent. Also unlike coal or oil, it does not release any harmful gases into the air. Aside from the nuclear waste product, which when taken care of properly in most cases, steam is the only other bi-product and is...

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