Ashley & Alli

What is it?

  • Nuclear energy comes from the nucleus of an atom. It takes a very large amount of energy for the bonds in atoms to even hold to atom together.

  • In order for nuclear energy to be used to make electricity, the energy in the atom must be released.

  • Nuclear power plants use nuclear fission to obtain the energy.

  • Nuclear fission is the splitting of atoms to make smaller ones, which releases energy.

  • Most plants choose to split Uranium because it is very easy to do so.

How does it work?

  • The fission takes place in the nuclear reactor. Here, uranium pellets are placed in fuel rods which are then placed in water. The Uranium atoms split inside the fuel rods and energy is released. The energy heats the water and creates steam.

  • The steam works its way through a turbine that turns a generator, creating electricity.

  • When the steam cools, it is used over again. Sometimes, the leftover heat will be released from a cooling tower.


  • Lower greenhouse gas emissions

  • Reliable

  • Cheap electricity

  • Sustainable- Uranium is expected to last for at least 100 years
  • Promotes economic growth


  • Construction cost- $4 billion per unit
  • Last about 40-60 years
  • Every two years, a power plant is shut down for an “outage” (used to complete various tasks that can’t be completed while the plant is operating)
  • This is when repairs replacement of machinery would occur
  • Last 30-60 days
Materials/Machinery needed
  • Uranium

  • Nuclear reactor

  • A nuclear reactor coolant(water)

  • Steam generator
  • A containment structure around the plant


  • Radioactive waste is extremely hazardous and can contaminate land and water, small radiation leaks can have devastating effects, nuclear accidents harm humans and ecosystems, nuclear waste lasts 200-500 years, nuclear power plants and shipments of nuclear waste are terrorist targets.