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Nuclear Energy – To Use Or Not To Use Uranium For Energy Production In Australia

804 words - 4 pages

Many countries around the world generate electricity by harnessing energy from nuclear fission of ‘fuel’ such as uranium rather than burning fossil fuel. As an example, the electricity produced by burning 17,000 kg of fossil fuel can also be produced from 1kg of uranium, but should Australia use it? Australia has always used fossil fuel to power thousands of homes and businesses. There are four main fossil fuels; Coal, Natural gas, Oil and Petroleum. Fossil fuels are deep inside the Earth and are made of deceased animals and plants.
Although fossil fuels are well developed, cheap and reliable there are still many downsides, mostly ones that have a negative effect the environment. Fossil ...view middle of the document...

Nuclear energy can be used to make electricity, but first the energy must be released. The energy can be released using a process called nuclear fission. In nuclear fission, atoms are divided into smaller atoms, releasing energy. Nuclear power plants use nuclear fission to produce large amounts of electricity. The element they use in an isotope of uranium is known as uranium-235. Nuclear Fission works quite the same way as producing coal. First they bombard the uranium atom with a neutron, which releases energy (heat) which, when in water, produces steam. The produced steam then turns turbines which turn generators and coverts the kinetic energy to electricity. Nuclear power is considered carbon-free and produces more electricity than other renewable sources like solar and wind. Unlike fossil fuels, which produce a lot of carbon dioxide. The biggest con is radioactive waste, which is extremely dangerous. It is stored in steel-lined concrete basins filled with water, where it remains radioactive for thousands of years. Although not much waste is produced, it’s still very dangerous and must be kept safe from earthquakes, flooding, etc. A popular burial site for waste is located in Yucca Mountain in Nevada and has been proposed as a disposal site for 77,000 tons of nuclear waste....

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