Nuclear Energy Is Your New Friend!
How is nuclear energy created?
Water is taken into a containment structure and turned into steam, which drives turbine generators to produce electricity. The heat source is created when uranium atoms split (fission).
Pressurized Water Reactor(PWR)
Pressurized Water Reactors keep water under pressure so that it heats, but doesn't boil. The heated water is circulated through tubes in steam generators, which allows the water to turn into steam. This turns the turbine generator. Water from the reactor and the water that is turned into steam are in separate systems and do not mix.
(Click the link below to watch the above gif)
Boiling Water Reactor(BWR)
(BWR)'s have the exact same process as pressurized water reactors except before the water turns to steam it boils which causes the water to evaporate.
(Click link below to see the Boiling Water Reactor process)
Examples of How Nuclear Energy Improves the Environment
- Fossil fuels like coal and oil produce major pollution and release big amounts of carbon and other toxic chemicals into the air. Nuclear Reactors decrease these amounts.
- Nuclear energy can cut down the amount of greenhouse gases down by 50%.
- "In 2002, carbon emissions avoided by nuclear power were 1.7 times larger than those avoided by all renewable resources combined."
- "The use of nuclear energy helped the US avoid the release of 189.5 million tons of carbon into the air, if this electricity had been produced by coal."
- All fossil fuels like coal and oil are running very low and are believed to be completely gone in a few centuries.
- Fossil fuels don't produce nearly enough energy to be equivalent to nuclear energy.
- The use of technology is continuing to grow and demand more and fossil fuels will only run out faster as upgrades in technology are released.
Statistics of Nuclear Usage
- "Nuclear energy is already delivering 20 percent or more of U.S. electricity, and more in other countries: 78 percent in France, 54 percent in Belgium, 39 percent in South Korea, and 30 percent in Japan."
- It produces nearly 1/3 of the world's electricity.
- Nuclear power has contributed to approximately 76% of our country's emission- free environment.
Unfortunately nuclear power has presented its consequences in years past with disasters like Chernobyl, the most dangerous nuclear explosion as of today. Just like Chernobyl, other disasters like Fukishima and Kyshtym resulted in the explosion of a nuclear power plant.
Chernobyl April 26, 1986
"The accident happened because of a combination of basic engineering deficiencies in the reactor and faulty actions of the operators during a testing: the safety systems had been switched off, and the reactor was being operated under improper, unstable conditions, a situation which allowed an uncontrollable power surge to occur." It resulted in a level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale.
Fukishima March 11, 2011
Following a major earthquake, a 15 meter tsunami disturbed the cooling of three Fukishima Daiichi reactors. Within just three days all of the reactors melted at their core. This disaster resulted in a 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale.
During the time of the Cold War, the Soviet Union wanted a bomb that would guarantee their victory. Unfortunately the leaders didn't consider the consequences or the safety of people and the environment and it ended in nuclear waste emptying into a nearby river. The radioactivity continued to spread until numerous deaths and illnesses began to occur.
Costs and Safety
- "Today, approximately one-third of the cost of a nuclear reactor is dedicated to safety systems and infrastructure. The Chernobyl reactor, for example, was not outfitted with the fully automated, multiple levels of safety and redundancy required for North American reactors."
(Click the link below to watch the gif above)