Nuclear energy ismade in power plants by splittingthe nuclei of heavy atoms, such as uranium. This splitting of nuclei(nuclear fission)releases a very large amount of energy
TWO TYPES OF NUCLEAR REACTIONS WHICH RELEASE ENERGY1. FISSION of the nuclei of some heavy elements It is employed in power station and for marine propulsion2. FUSION of the nuclei of certain light elements Research in the controlled release of thermo- nuclear power from the fusion reaction is being carried out, but so far its only application has been limited to relatively uncontrolled release of power, as in the HYDROGEN BOMB
Nuclear Power Today-Provides almost 20% of world’s electricity (8% in U.S-69% of U.S. non-carbon electricity generation-More than 100 plants in U.S. None built since the 1970s-200+ plants in the Europe Leader is France-About 80% of its power from nuclear
The first commercial applicationof nuclear power was the UK CalderHall power station(1956).Thedevelopment of the advanced gas-cooled reactor in the UK and thepressurised-water reactor in the USAhas made nuclear power competitivewith other sources. The energy for nuclear fission is used to oilwater and make steam, which then turns turbinesthat generators that generates electricity.
Nuclear energy is created through a mechanism called areactor. The power source is the heat produced by a controllednuclear fission chain reaction, either of uranium or plutonium. Thisreaction involves an element, such as uranium or plutonium, beingstruck by a neutron and splitting. The result of the fission of theselarge atoms is the creation of new, smaller atoms as by-products,radiation and more neutrons. Those neutrons speed out and strikeother uranium/plutonium atoms, creating a chain reaction. The chainreaction in a reaction is controlled by neutron moderators, which varydepending on the design of the reactor. This can be anything fromgraphite rods to simple water. Once the heat has been released, a nuclear reactor produceselectricity in exactly the same manner as any other thermal-basedpower plant. The heat converts water into steam, and the steam isused to turn the blades of a turbine, which runs the generator.
BRIEF HISTORY Nuclear power is both simple and complex. Fissioning neutrons produce great heat. Heat placed in water makes steam. Steam accelerates a turbine which in turn powers a generator to make electricity. As a result, people can heat and cool their homes, operate their blow dryers, use their laptop, computer, light their rooms at night, and feel safe in their cities. Nuclear power has been harnessed to make devastating bombs that can level cities and states and countries. Nuclear power can only be managed with human assistance and creativity. And yet the limitation inherent in human ingenuity have led to tremendous accidents which have made many sick. At the same time, oil prices continue to rise while coal mines collapse and workers die, so some people argue that nuclear energy is cheap and safe compared to other forms of power. Still, others have pointed to the problem of storage and disposal of nuclear by- products, in particular toxic waste, substances that may remain deadly for billions of years. And then there are the so-called alternative energy sources specifically wind and solar, both heralded by environmentalists while industry attempts to find a way to blend them with commerce. So while the process of nuclear energy is relatively simple, the moral, social, political and economic aspects of this power make it very complex.
Thirty countries operate nuclear power stations. In2010, before the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, it wasreported that an average of about 10 nuclear reactor wereexpected to become operational per year, although accordingto the World Nuclear Association, of the 17 civilian reactorsplanned to become operational between 2007 and 2009, onlyfive actually came on steam. As of June 2011, Germany andSwitzerland are phasing-out nuclear power. As of June 2011, countries such as Australia, Austria,Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, and Norwayremain opposed to nuclear power.
COUNTRIES THAT USES NUCLEAR ENERGY •United States •Bulgaria •France •Finland •Russia • Slovakia •Japan •Brazil •Germany •South Africa • South Korea • Lithuania •Ukraine • Hungary •Canada •Romania • United Kingdom • Mexico • China •Argentina •Taiwan •Slovenia •Spain •Holland •Belgium •Pakistan •India •Armenia •Czech Republic •Iran. •Switzerland
According to the International Atomic EnergyAgency, there were 436 nuclear power plants in operation in 2007. The five countries most reliant on nuclear energy are France, Lithuania, Belgium, Slovakia and Ukraine.
Advantages of nuclear energy Nuclear plants bring jobs and prosperity to a country Provides the world with the most of its electricity Not many nuclear have happened; natural disasters cause more damage Canada has easy access to uranium Its good for the economy Lots of energy is produced from a small amount of uranium Does not emit carbon dioxide(greenhouse effect) Generating electricity from nuclear energy causes little pollution
disadvantages of nuclear energyDisposing of the nuclear waste is very difficult and needs to be done after a lot of planning by the expertsThe radioactive waste takes years to be no longer hazardousWaste must be stored very carefully for a long timeStoring is a huge problem. The waste is very dangerous. It is radioactiveNuclear power plants are very expensive to buildUranium is not renewable and can lead to environmental problems through mining and processing
Can it affect the economy if you use that type of technology? Yes, it can affect to the economy ,to the countries that use this type of energy because their economy rises and became successful but of all the nuclear plants built from it. It harms us a lot. The cost of these nuclear plants are around 2 billion dollars each, however many people do not realize this.
Effects to the economy when you use nuclear energy Nuclear power is cost competitive with other forms of electricity generation, except where there is direct access to low-cost fossil fuels. Fuel costs for nuclear plants are a minor proportion of total generating costs, though capital costs are greater than those for coal-fired plants and much greater than those for gas-fired plants.In assessing the economics of nuclear power, decommissioning and waste disposal costs are fully taken into account.Direct Cost savingsFossil fuel price cappingEnergy supply security (Avoided lost output)Avoided net fuel importsEnhanced technology exportsElectricity price stabilityIntellectual capital gains
Enhanced productivityImproved competitivelyImproved terms of tradeCurrency appreciation and enhanced economic growthChanged levels of morbidity and mortality, therefore economic outputChanged physical damage and environmental losses affecting resource utilisationDirect effects on resourcesChanged institutional costsChanged economic efficiency
FACTS OF NUCLEAR ENERGY Nuclear power plants produce about 20 percent of Americas power. While nuclear energy produces less waste than fossil fuels, its radioactive waste must be stored in special containers and buried beneath the earths surface, typically in a mountain, until it is no longer hazardous There are over 400 nuclear power plants worldwide.
Almost 3 million Americans live within 10 miles of an operating nuclear power plant.Nuclear energy comes from uranium, a non-renewable resource that must be mined. In 2009, America produced 798.7 billion kilowatts of nuclear energy more than twice that of any other country and over 30% of all the nuclear energy generated worldwide that year.
Nuclear power plants use nuclear fission (the process of splitting of an atom in two). Nuclear fusion (the process of combining atoms into one) has the potential to be safer energy because it is produced at a much lower temperature. However, nuclear fusion technology has not yet been developed to operate within a large power plant.Every 18 to 24 months, a power plant must shut down to remove its spent uranium fuel, which has become radioactive waste.
United States power plants produce 2,000 metric tons of radioactive waste every year.In 2008, nuclear power replaced an estimated 690 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.Nuclear power plants generate nearly three-fourths of Americas clean-air energy.