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Nuclear Power: Advatages And Disadvatages, Also A Short History Of Nuclear Technology.

738 words - 3 pages

Nuclear reactors are a great achievement in the human race. Reactors where originally used for research into the world of nuclear energy. The first reactor was built and sustained by the Italian scientist Enrico Fermi, at the University of Chicago in 1942. It is also interesting to know that even though the scientist didn't realize the potential danger of a mass explosion of energy and the destructive capability to the human body, they where not harmed during the experiment, there where no cases of radiation sickness, nor did the reactor explode (unlikely). After Mr. Fermi won the Nobel Prize, he went on to Los Alamos, New Mexico to create the first nuclear bomb. There are many advantages as well as disadvantages. The most obvious advantage is that nuclear energy creates enormous amounts of energy on only a small amount of fuel. Among the many other advantages are: low amounts of pollution, lots of resources (fissionable material). As with everything there are disadvantages some of these include: thermal pollution (from having to use water for a coolant), high amounts of dangerously radioactive waste that has to be stored for thousands of years before it loses its radioactivity. Again these are only some of the many pros and cons of nuclear energy.There are many types of nuclear reactors, but in this paragraph I will focus on two; fusion reactors and fission reactors. I will start with fission, a fission reactor consists basically of a mass of fissionable material usually encased in shielding and provided with devices to regulate the rate of fission and a system to extract the heat energy produced. A reactor is constructed so that fission of atomic nuclei produces a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction, in which the neutrons produced are able to split other nuclei. A chain reaction can be produced in a reactor by using uranium or plutonium in which the concentration of fissionable isotopes has been increased. Even though the neutrons move at high speeds, the increased amount of fissionable isotope captures enough neutrons to make a self-sustaining chain reaction. In this type of reactor the neutrons carrying on the chain reaction are fast neutrons. Fusion reactors are still in the...

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