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Nuclear Power Plants And Nuclear Energy

2258 words - 9 pages

Nuclear power plants and nuclear energy came to be with the discovery of uranium. Uranium was discovered by a German Scientist Martin Klaproth in 1789 (Uranium). The discovery of uranium led to future developments of new technology such as nuclear power plants. Obninsk was a city built in 1946 from the orders of Josef Stalin to carry out research in nuclear physics. German scientists that were captured during the cold war helped soviet scientist and others from around the world build the world’s first nuclear power plant in 1954 (Miteva). Albert Einstein and Enrico Fermi both fled their respective countries to move to America. Einstein wrote a letter to President Roosevelt and warned him about the dangers of atomic technology in Axis hands and pushed for atomic research. The project to build an atomic bomb was nicknamed the Manhattan project. This project would employ 120,000 people which all had to keep it a secret. It was so secret that vice president Truman didn’t hear of the Manhattan project until he became president. By 1945 the first test of the atomic bomb was completed and the project was successful (The Manhattan Project). The world would never be the same with the development of nuclear bombs and nuclear power plants. Nuclear power plants are changing how the world today works. Today there are hundreds of nuclear power plants all over the world producing energy. Nuclear power plants today are a controversial topic when it comes to providing electricity for the world. There are many who think that there should be more nuclear power plants built and there are others that disagree and think that there should not be more construction of nuclear power plants. The long term effects of nuclear power plants warrant the halt of more nuclear power plants being built because of factors such as maintenance, natural disasters, and waste disposal.
The Three Mile Accident was the worst nuclear power plant accident in the United States history. The accident occurred in 1979 when a minor malfunction in the secondary cooling unit caused a rise in temperature in the primary coolant. As a result this caused the reactor to shut down, which took only about a second. After shutdown “the pilot-operated relief valve on the reactor cooling system opened, as it was supposed to. About 10 seconds later it should have closed. But it remained open, leaking vital reactor coolant water into the reactor coolant drain tank. The operators believed the relief valve had shut because instruments showed them that a ‘close’ signal was sent to the valve. However, they did not have an instrument indicating the valve’s actual position” (Three Mile Island Accident). This resulted in damage being caused to the reactor core. This accident was caused from inexperience workers and problems from machines that should have been built differently. If there had been an actual instrument that provided the position of the valve the damages from this accident could have been far less....

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