So is nuclear energy an actual endangerment to us, or are we overreacting to the side effect of this technology? In this essay, the benefits and limitations of developing and using nuclear power will be analyzed, we shall find out if the benefits or limitations of nuclear technology outweigh the other.
Nuclear reactors use a very commonly found material as their main source for producing electricity, uranium. There are a few different uranium isotopes that exist on earth, with uranium-235 as the most powerful and uranium-238 as the most abundant. Uranium-235 is a very fissile material, which means that its atoms can be easily split apart by a neutron, releasing two lighter nuclei, three neutrons and some gamma radiation. Nuclear technology takes advantage of this effect (see diagram below). Rods of uranium act as fuel, and are placed in a reactor. A slow neutron is then sent towards a uranium nucleus, with results in an unstable nucleus of uranium-236. This splits up, and the three extra neutrons split other nearby uranium nuclei up, causing a chain reaction. This reaction, if uncontrolled will cause a nuclear explosion, releasing massive amounts of heat and radiation. Therefore, control rods made of cadmium or boron... [continues]
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