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Nuclear Energy In A Nutshell

Besides the fact that Nuclear Power Plants can make a little fish grow a 3rd eyeball… what else do you know about nuclear energy? If you haven’t heard about the energy crisis, the world is desperate for energy and nuclear energy is a major solution… or is it? Many people think that the power generated by nuclear power plants is worse for the environment in the long run. You might want to learn more about nuclear energy to help make decisions of what is a good source of energy for our future.

What is Nuclear Energy?

Nuclear energy is energy in the nucleus (core) of an atom. Atoms are tiny particles that make up every object in the universe. There is enormous energy in the bonds that hold atoms together. Nuclear energy can be used to make electricity. But first the energy must be released. It can be released from atoms in two ways: nuclear fusion and nuclear fission.

Isotope InterestIsotope Interest

In nuclear fusion, energy is released when atoms are combined or fused together to form a larger atom. This is how the sun produces energy.

In nuclear fission, atoms are split apart to form smaller atoms, releasing energy. Nuclear power plants use nuclear fission to produce electricity.

Nuclear power plants

Most power plants burn fuel to produce electricity, but not nuclear power plants. Instead, nuclear plants use the heat given off during fission as fuel. Fission takes place inside the reactor of a nuclear power plant. At the center of the reactor is the core, which contains uranium fuel.

Radioactive RodsRadioactive Rods

The uranium fuel is formed into ceramic pellets. The pellets are about the size of your fingertip, but each one produces the same amount of energy as 150 gallons of oil. These energy-rich pellets are stacked end-to-end in 12-foot metal fuel rods, which you might have seen Homer Simpson carrying at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant.

Fission generates heat in a reactor just as coal generates heat in a boiler. The heat is used to boil water into steam. The steam turns huge turbine blades, As they turn they drive generators that make electricity. Afterward, the steam is changed back into water through a condenser and this water is used again and again. The steam is cooled using lake or river water flowing through tubes in the condenser. Because this water is heated (removes heat from the steam), this lake or river water can be cooled in a separate structure at the power plant called a cooling tower and then be returned to the lake or river.

Nuclear power and the environment

Tuna TrioTuna Trio

Like all industrial processes, nuclear power generation has by-product wastes: radioactive waste and heat. Radioactive wastes are the principal environmental concern for nuclear power. They are ordinary trash, tools, protective clothing, wiping cloths and disposable items that have been contaminated with small amounts of radioactive dust or particles. Safety inspectors make sure that these items never come in contact with the outside environment.

But what happens when there is a natural disaster like the earthquake in Japan? Sometimes the plant leaks these radioactive wastes into the environment because damage. Then what? The surrounding water is polluted, plants will die, animals can grow 3 eyeballs... it's not good.

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What is the Cleanest Burning Fossil Fuel?

  • Coal.
  • Oil.
  • Natural Gas.
  • They all create the same amount of pollution.

General In The Forums

XxRuby_PhoenixxX
Global warming will raise the ocean and bodies of waters. The cities will be flooded, and then frozen over. Someone goes outside, they freeze to death. The remaining survivors will die of starvation or freeze to death.
reply about 1 hour
drowning
drowning posted in Debating:
In my opinion, I see four most likely possibilities.  >>  Nuclear War/World Wars. >> The universe practically imploding and the sun burning us into oblivion or even another planet/meteorite slamming into us, destroying us entirely. >> Self-destructive tendencies of our own species, either accidentally or purposefully. >> Trump. Which could be the matchstick to the flame of at least two other things on this list.
reply about 3 hours
KayKayZ
KayKayZ posted in Debating:
I think it's kinda sad that there even actually exist debates where people argue whether someone else's identity is 'legitimate' or not. You know who knows that? The person who identifies as bisexual (or whatever else). Not me, not you, not their parents, not your parents, and no, not any religion. Them. Only them. No one else. That's it. But it is nice to see people expressing support. I'll join in and say, for all the bisexuals out there, be who you are. Let not any one person's judgment distract you from what your true feelings are. “If someone isn't what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.” ―  Paulo Coelho ,  The Alchemist
reply about 3 hours
ghostoflegacy
ghostoflegacy posted in Debating:
You cannot describe color to a blind person. But they also see things that you can't that they cannot describe to you. I have a friend, Joseph, who's been blind since birth. He says it looks sort of like nothing and everything at once, and that little dots malt into one big dot. He also doesn't quite grasp the concept of "dark" and "light" but he can sense when a light is on vs off. I have a friend who's been blind since she was eight (grenade accident) who says it's like a mix of every color, but it's not quite black or white. And there's no one color she can name of it. But when there's a noise, the "blanket" shifts around where the noise came from, like something's different but you can't tell what.
reply about 3 hours
ghostoflegacy
ghostoflegacy posted in Debating:
In a couple billion years, the sun will die and implode, taking Mercury, Venus, Earth, and possibly Mars with it. Unless the silent death flares get us first. They could happen at any moment with no warning, you know. Scratch that. Trump's gonna kill us.
reply about 3 hours