In order to explain what is electricity, first we must start off with talking about an atom. An atom is made up of protons neutrons, and electrons. The protons (positive charge) and neutrons (neutral charge) form the nucleus, while the electrons (negative charge) orbit around the nucleus. The atom is considered balanced if the protons and electrons are the same. But, if the atom loses or gains an electron it becomes an unbalanced atom. Losing electrons makes the atom have a positive charge because there are more positively charged protons than electrons. Gaining electrons make the atom have a negative charge because there are more negatively charged electrons than protons. Since there’s a missing electron, either the electron that was lost looks for another atom with a missing electron to join or the atom with the missing atom will look for a lone electron to pair join to it. The transfer of electrons is what causes electricity. When the electrons move from one atom to another they create a flow or current of electricity. Scientists are able to purposely make atoms lose their electrons, so that they make electricity. (www.energyquest.ca.gov)
There are many different sources to create electricity. Some better than others for various reasons but all the major ways to make electricity are nuclear fission, nuclear fusion , solar panels, oil, coal, wind turbine, tidal energy, biomass, natural gas, geothermal, hydro-electric, magnetic, and fuel cell.
Nuclear fission involves taking a Uranium atom and splitting the nucleus in half, which then creates a lot of power. (www.energyquest.ca.gov)
• Doesn’t require much fuel to do
• Creates very large amounts of energy
• No air pollution
• Uranium can be found anywhere
• We are not going to run out anytime soon
• Cheap to operate
• Making the power plants is expensive
• Having to keep and store waste.
Nuclear fission plants should be put near the ocean and the city using the electricity, but should still be built a safe distance away. States having lots of populated areas but still have lots of unpopulated land and have large rivers or an ocean are the best and safest place to be located. Nuclear power is one of the more costly electricity sources due to cost of building the plants, storing or getting rid of nuclear waste, etc… The price is 11-14 cents per kilowatt hour. If some radiation was to escape the nuclear power plant it would cause havoc on the environment. Not only this, but having to put spent rods and storing them can cause problems too. They are highly toxic and can cause some radiation to be given off to the surrounding wildlife and people. You can transfer nuclear energy but at a cost. It’s very expensive to transport and is very risky and dangerous. Not many people would be happy to have a nuclear power plant near them. It’s understandable. Meltdowns can happen and if they do, you are at risk for radiation poisoning.
Nuclear fusion is...