Atomic Energy

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Nuclear power
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Atomic Power" redirects here. For the film, see Atomic Power (film). This article is about the power source. For nation states that are nuclear powers, see List of states with nuclear weapons.

The Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, a boiling water reactor. The reactors are located inside the rectangular containment buildings towards the front of the cooling towers.

Three nuclear-powered American warships, (top to bottom) nuclear cruisersUSS Bainbridge and USS Long Beach withUSS Enterprise the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in 1964. Crew members are spelling out Einstein's mass-energy equivalence formula E = mc2 on the flight deck.

The Russian nuclear-powered icebreakerNS Yamal on a 1994 joint expedition with theNSF. Nuclear power is the use of sustained nuclear fission to generate heat and electricity. Nuclear power plants provided about 5.7% of the world's energyand 13% of the world's electricity, in 2012.[1] In 2013, the IAEA report that there are 437 operational nuclear power reactors (although not all are producing electricity[2]),[3] in 31 countries.[4] In addition, there are approximately 140 naval vessels using nuclear propulsion in operation, powered by some 180 reactors.[5][6][7] There is an ongoing debate about the use of nuclear energy.[8][9][10] Proponents, such as the World Nuclear Association, the IAEA andEnvironmentalists for Nuclear Energy contend that nuclear power is a sustainable energy source that reduces carbon emissions.[11] Opponents, such as Greenpeace International and NIRS, believe that nuclear power poses many threats to people and the environment.[12][13][14] Nuclear power plant accidents include the Chernobyl disaster (1986), Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster (2011), and the Three Mile Island accident(1979).[15] There have also been some nuclear-powered submarine mishaps.[15][16][17] Research into safety improvements is continuing[18] and nuclear fusion, believed to be safer, may be used in the future. As of 2012, according to the IAEA, worldwide there were 68 civil nuclear power reactors under construction in 15 countries.[3] In the US the licenses of almost half its reactors have been extended to 60 years,[19] and plans to build another dozen are under serious consideration.[20] However, Japan's 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster prompted a rethink of nuclear energy policy in many countries.[21] Germany decided to close all its reactors by 2022, and Italy has banned nuclear power.[21] Following Fukushima, the International Energy Agency halved its estimate of additional nuclear generating capacity to be built by 2035.[22] Contents  [hide]  * 1 Use * 1.1 Use in space * 2 History * 2.1 Origins * 2.2 Early years * 2.3 Development * 3 Nuclear power plant * 4 Life cycle * 4.1 Conventional fuel resources * 4.1.1 Breeding * 4.1.2 Fusion * 4.2 Solid waste * 4.2.1 High-level radioactive waste * 4.2.2 Low-level radioactive waste * 4.2.3 Comparing radioactive waste to industrial toxic waste * 4.2.4 Waste disposal * 4.3 Reprocessing * 4.3.1 Depleted uranium * 5 Economics * 6 Accidents and safety, the human and financial costs * 7 Nuclear proliferation * 8 Environmental issues * 8.1 Climate change * 9 Nuclear decommissioning * 10 Debate on nuclear power * 11 Comparison with renewable energy * 12 Nuclear power organizations * 12.1 Against * 12.2 Supportive * 13 Nuclear renaissance * 14 Future of the industry * 14.1 Nuclear phase out * 14.2 Advanced concepts * 14.3 Nuclear fusion * 15 See also * 16 References * 17 Further reading * 18 External links| -------------------------------------------------


Historical and projected world energy use by energy source, 1990-2035, Source: International Energy Outlook 2011, EIA....
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