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Nuclear Energy

What is nuclear energy and how is it made?

Nuclear energy originated from the splitting of uranium atoms the process is now called fission. In a the power plant, the fission process has been used to generate heat for producing steam, which is then used by a turbine to generate the electricity. At the moment nuclear energy provides for about 16% of the world's electricity. Nuclear energy is made from nuclear reactions. A nuclear reaction occurs when there is a change in the nucleus of an atom. This can occur through nuclear fusion where the nuclei of two atoms are fused together to make a larger atom. It can also be achieved through nuclear fission where a larger atom is split into two smaller atoms. Both reactions release a lot of heat energy. The most commonly used atom in nuclear energy is uranium because when his with an electron it causes a chain reaction and splits into many pieces producing energy.

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How Does It Work?









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Diagram of a nuclear reactor above


Every nuclear reactor operates on the same basic principle, even though there are many different kinds of nuclear reactors that are in use throughout the world. A nuclear reactor creates heat by splitting uranium atoms. This fission of uranium atoms is referred to as a nuclear reaction. When the centre or nucleus of a uranium atom is struck by a neutron traveling at the right speed it will split into fragments that separate rapidly and generate some heat. It also gives off new neutrons. To sustain a continuous nuclear reaction,the speed of these neutrons must be slowed down or moderated. Canadiannuclear reactors use heavy water as the neutron moderator. Chemically, heavy water is called deuterium oxide. Thus the Canadian reactor is named CANDU,for CANada Deuterium Uranium.Because of the heavy water moderator, CANDU reactors can use natural uranium as the source of fuel to create the nuclear reaction The advantages to using nuclear power.


Advantages and Disadvantages of nuclear energy


Advantages
One nuclear energy plant can produce large amounts of energy without constant supplys of fuel. Their is no need for fuel, nuclear power plants and they are independent of fuel costs or supply problems.Nuclear power contributes less to acid rain, and it impacts the environment less because their is no carbon dioxide is released out from nuclear energy.The basis for nuclear power has already been developed and it still being upgrades constantly.The waste, while difficult to handle and store, is very compact, 60 years worth of nuclear waste can be stored in a convenience store and can be recycled to some extent.


Disadvantages
The complex design takes longer to build and is more expensive but it is not compared to the cost per each energy unit produced from it. Closing down a plant costs a little bit more than closing conventional plants.The hazardous waste can be dangerous if it gets released into the environment.The same applies to any release of contamination through accident or design flaws.The waste and by-products represent a threat to world safety if obtained by terrorists who plan on using it.




Compare with others

One fuel pellet is is the same as 807 kilograms of coal, 677 litres of oil or 476 cubic metres of natural gas so if you look at it, nuclear power is the best option out of the four.


Compared to wind and solar energy it's much cheaper and gets more power easier.


compared to hydro it still generates more energy and its cheaper.