-
x

Meet New Friends!

Recommended friends are based on your interests. Make sure they are up to date.

Friends ff8c072dd79a91c1300f032d674241a8d64367100ffb1f25fa3f9bec4a05319f
Kidzworld Logo

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.

Related Stories
14 Comments

Related Stories

If your parents have been stressing over money and you feel anxious because of the environment, w...
Micro geothermal micro
If you kept digging, what would you find? Probably lots of worms, roots, and a few dog bones. But...
Micro hydroelectricity micro
It's hard to imagine that water can be used to create electricity. The two are a dangerous combin...
F1109195713421

What is the Cleanest Burning Fossil Fuel?

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

General In The Forums

Skipper_
Skipper_ posted in New Users:
henlo! welcome to KW!  the people on here is nice so i hope you like it! nice to meet you.
reply about 1 hour
Skipper_
Skipper_ posted in New Users:
Hello and welcome to KW! I hope you like the people here, because they're friendly tbh but anyways, nice to meet you~
reply about 1 hour
Skipper_
Skipper_ posted in Debating:
There's a lot of evidence, my friend. First evidence is that Trump is not allowing trans to join the army. The Muslim ban? He's such a racist and such a discriminator...do you want me to give you more evidence?
reply about 1 hour
Tennis123
Tennis123 posted in Debating:
And btw, it’s acceptable for a person to defend himself from the polar bear or whatever animal
reply about 2 hours
Tennis123
Tennis123 posted in Debating:
"Kirsteeeeen" wrote: "Tennis123" wrote: i have changed my views on things like this, i think 99% of people that hunt and the people that complain about the hunting are complete hypocrites though.  if you think that its justified to kill an animal in a given context, you must have a difference between a human and the animal that if true of the human would justify killing the animal, otherwise you say X justifies killing something but doesnt justify killing something ate the same time, which of course is a contradiction. hopefully people can understand that.  What gives, polar bears for example, the right to kill humans for food but doesn't give humans the right to kill an animal for food? Polar bears have no moral agency and they must kill for food. If we went over to a place in the North Pole and a mentally disabled person with the inability to understand right and wrong and they had to kill for food, I wouldnt add any moral weight to the act they commit bc how can you morally judge an act one commits without them having any conception of morals? Some mentally disabled people have no moral agency and can’t really understand anything. Would you judge them morally? 
reply about 2 hours