Nuclear Energy

Friend or Foe?

Nuclear power is our new best friend.

Our advancements in technology have created the power hungry world we live in. If you love waking up in the summer with the nice clean air then you want nuclear power too.

How Nuclear Power is Generated

The main principal is that we gather heat energy from nuclear fission of the atoms nucleus' from the uranium fuel rods. This heat energy or steam, is converted into mechanical energy by the turbine. Than is is sent to the generator and changed into electrical energy.
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It might be surprising, but it turns out that most nuclear "waste" can be reused in the reactor. It still has parts of the fuel in it that can be extracted for reuse. says "But spent nuclear fuel still has from 95 percent to 99 percent of unused uranium in it, and this can be recycled." We thought that all of the nuclear waste was useless. The small amount of "waste" not recycled is put into crystal lattices of stable minerals in a synthetic rock. The picture shows these canisters being loaded into silos.

Pros of Nuclear Energy

Nuclear power plants are clean and stable there only byproduct is steam compared to fossil fuel plants that produce acid rain. These plants also give people black lung disease, it causes global warming water pollution and environmental degradation. 0.05kg of uranium 235 will produce the same amount of energy as 3,000kg of coal. The NEI said "The areas around nuclear plants are often parklike habitats that are home to many types of endangered species. Compared to many sources of electrical generation, nuclear power plants are relatively benign." We didn't realize nuclear power plants would be a good home for animals. In 1973 Nuclear Energy was only 4% of our energy, in 1999 it increased to 20% of our energy. France produces about 80% of its energy from nuclear power plants. So only 99 plants make a fifth the energy of the some 1.5 million fossil fuel power plants. Compact Nuclear power plants will last about 60 years while renewable energy sources only last about 20 years.
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Cons of Nuclear Energy

All of the nuclear waste of 50 years of operation for 1 nuclear power plant will kill 1 person. On the other hand 1 coal plant will kill about 1625 people every 50 years of operation. Nuclear power plants can be used as a weapon if they fall into the wrong hands which can be stopped by protecting them with guards which will create more jobs. Finally to much exposure to nuclear radiation can be deadly however if The world was run off of nuclear energy we would get .02% more radiation than we do naturally which would lead to 2 hours less lifetime. Compared to fossil fuel plants we would have about a 50 day shorter life time.

The Future of Nuclear Power

Nuclear reactors are inevitably advancing, and its will its applications are too. Soon we will be able to harness the high temperatures they reach to desalinate seawater and, we will be able to generate electricity and hydrogen for transportation and industry. Colin McInnes says "We have only scratched the surface of what is possible with energy dense uranium, and later vast untapped global reserves of thorium to help deliver a genuinely sustainable supply of clean, high-grade energy."

Major Events

Some of the Major Events include Chernobyl, Fukushima, Windscale, and Three Mile Island. The picture shows one of the Nuclear Reactors Exploding at Fukushima. "The Chernobyl accident in 1986 was the result of a flawed reactor design that was operated with inadequately trained personnel." This was very interesting to find that it was completely Russia's fault. Two of the Chernobyl workers died that night and 28 people later died from radiation. This is a small disadvantage of Nuclear Power. However the chance of any type of problem occurring to a power plant is about 7.5% chance these things include the fuel rods taking a dent. The chance of one of the power plants Exploding in there lifetime is less than 1%. "Unscear says that apart from the increased chance of thyroid cancers, "There is no evidence of a major public health impact attribute to radiation exposure 20 years after the accident."


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