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Essay: Nuclear Energy – Advantages and Disadvantages

Nuclear Energy Research Paper

❶Nuclear fission The nucleus is the centre of the atom which is normally made up of the same number of protons as it has neutrons.

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There is much controversy over the health and safety issues of using nuclear power, especially after Three Mile Island and the Chernobyl disasters. Where does the energy come from? Nuclear fission The nucleus is the centre of the atom which is normally made up of the same number of protons as it has neutrons.

However, some very large nuclei in certain isotopes have an imbalance. They can often be found with too many neutrons, and this imbalance will result in the nucleus becoming unstable. Uranium is a radioactive substance which due to its large size and unstable state can undergo induced fission. Its nucleus can be split into smaller atoms when induced by a neutron. This process will release two or three neutrons, depending on how the atom splits. These new neutrons can then initiate the decomposition of the nuclei of other atoms of Uranium.

Propagation by the chain reaction releases more neutrons and causes further nuclear splits. Under controlled conditions, the rate of this chain reaction can be kept at a constant rate. This produces high temperatures but is not allowed to react out of control as in a nuclear bomb.

The heat produced is used to turn water into steam, the steam then turns a turbine and generator, creating electricity.

Therefore it is necessary to enrich natural Uranium to use for nuclear power. This is done by converting uranium oxide extracted from ore into gaseous form, uranium hexafluoride. From this form it can be enriched from its natural proportion of 0. A higher enrichment means better efficiency, and ordinary water can then be used as a moderator.

The form of uranium usually used is pellet form, these are arranged into rods and then to bundles. These bundles are surrounded by a moderator such as water, graphite or heavy water. The moderator slows down the emitted neutrons by reducing their energy as they collide with the nuclei of the moderator.

Control rods are placed in the bundles which control the rate of the nuclear reaction. These can also be used to shut down the reactor completely when something goes wrong. These control rods are materials which absorb neutrons, such as Cadmium and Boron. They work by reducing the number of neutrons in the reactor and therefore slowing down the reaction and consequently reducing the heat.

To reduce heat, the rods are put further into the bundles where they absorb more neutrons. To raise the heat the opposite is done, and the heat level rises. As the atoms are split the energy is released as heat. This is used to heat water and turns it into steam. The steam drives a steam turbine, which spins a generator to produce electricity. This is what happens in a basic reactor, others include the use of intermediate heat exchangers or gaseous coolant fluid. The set up of a nuclear power plant is basically the same as that of a coal power plant.

The main difference is how the water is heated to produce steam, from then on the turbines and generator work in the same way for both plants. All of which have been linked to serious neuromuscular and respiratory diseases, like bronchitis and lung-cancer. On the other hand nuclear energy is free of all those pollutants. On the long run, imagine how many lives would be saved by just replacing fossil fuels with nuclear energy. Opponents of nuclear energy have been promoting nuclear energy for years to be a death tool; in fact, this claim has little truth to it.

One is much more susceptible to death from air pollution, than of the radiation emitted by the nuclear plants. Air pollution causes deaths worldwide every year Morris, When, the death toll for the Chernobyl accident was cancer deaths over 50 years, which means, deaths per year. Which confirms the claim that air pollution is much more dangerous than nuclear energy. Nevertheless, the radiation is still the major concern of those in opposition of nuclear energy because it has been publicized that nuclear energy produces excessive amounts of radiation causing three possible health effects: As to the genetic mutations, it has been shown that excessive doses of radiation are not associated in any way with the genetic mutations.

This needs a minimum radiation exposure of , millirems, below that no radiation sickness occurred in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Nowadays, at the fence line of a nuclear power plant, by law, radiation may not exceed 10 millirems, that is 10, times less than the level at which radiation sickness occurs, it is also a tenth of the amount of radiation one could get from a medical x-ray yearly.

Actually no one lives this close to a nuclear power plant, therefore, people would get less than 0. The last argued health effect is cancer. It has been proven that no cases of cancer due to radiation occurred at less than , millirems exposure, which is a huge dose. Back to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki, cases of cancer occurred in a carefully studied group of 80, Japanese people who were exposed to over , millirems of radiation, that is 0.

Thus if we were to draw a conclusion from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it will be that 0. The most method of disposal is underwater storage until the radiation in the waste decays and it can be moved to concrete tanks. Keeping on the topic of nuclear waste disposal, the dangers of exposure to nuclear waste are catastrophic.

In regards to plants, animals, and humans, exposure to radioactive waste can cause cancer, genetic problems, and death. Which brings to mind the nature and prospects of nuclear fusion- often called the "perfect" source of power - emitting neither radioactive waste nor greenhouse gasses that add to the global warming problem. But because there is always the possibility of error in nuclear waste production, storage and disposal, there is always the risk that waste is somehow being exposed to the environment.

The symptoms of exposure range from the following:. With the vast array of symptoms, illnesses, and effects of exposure to nuclear waste, it is easy to see why this is such a strong argument against the production of nuclear power. The development and usage of nuclear weapons have become a hot topic of debate in recent years. It has always been, but even more so in the 20th and 21st centuries. Seldom do most people make the connection between nuclear weapons and nuclear power production.

It was once deemed that the production of nuclear power for the sole purpose of electricity production. In the s, President Dwight Eisenhower first came to the realization that the two concepts could be connected.

As the process of linking nuclear power production and nuclear weapon development has become more evident, so has the fact that the connection is more political than historical. The political and microeconomic aspects of energy production are vast.

Because of how little the world relies on nuclear power for energy production, it only makes sense that many countries would instead use nuclear energy solely for the production of nuclear weapons. This leaves this type of energy production in the hands of terrorist-friendly countries and organizations.

In years past, nuclear power was a feasible solution to the problem. Yet another argument against the production of nuclear power lay in the fact that there are many more options available. The world has taken notice to the natural energy that lights upon us everyday care of Mother Nature. Sun, wind, and water offer many opportunities at alternative energy sources without the aid of the environmentally detrimental energy that nuclear power provides World Nuclear Association.

There is a rather large list of potential alternative energy sources that could prove to be healthier and safer options to nuclear power.

The problem with these types of energy sources is the act of harnessing them. It makes sense that if the world is willing to accommodate the cost of nuclear power exploration that it would also be willing to harness much safer means of energy production that can be found in natural resources. The argument against the production of nuclear power is a strong one. The production of nuclear power is dangerous and comes with many negative ramifications.

Nuclear disasters are tragedies that are unlike any other in history and are unnecessary. The consequences of nuclear waste exposure are immeasurable and create long lasting legacies of destruction, fear, and pain.

Advantages and disadvantages of nuclear power

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Essay: Nuclear Energy – Advantages and Disadvantages Abstract “Growing concerns over climate change have highlighted the need to step up contribution of nuclear energy in the energy mix and to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels in the years to come.

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Nuclear energy Nuclear Power and its uses is a growing discussion in today’s era of technology. Australia is one of the developed countries where the demands of energy resources are increasing rapidly. Nuclear energy is coming up as a great alternative, but various factors support as well as oppose its growth.

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Nuclear Energy Essay - Nuclear energy now is the world’s mainly useful form of energy. Energy are devolved and have been used from the fossils fuels and are still be used now, but it is not an option to use it in the future. So this turned that we have a nuclear power as the best choice. Nuclear Energy Essay Words | 8 Pages. Nuclear Energy The world is running out of fossil fuels and this decrease in supply is causing an increase in price for the consumer. There is a growing need to find alternative sources for energy.

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