The Promises and Perils of Nuclear Power

Topics: Nuclear power, Nuclear fission, Nuclear physics Pages: 6 (1935 words) Published: May 3, 2013
SCI215 M4-Assignment 1: Discussion—The Promises and Perils of Nuclear Power Nuclear power refers to the generation of electrical energy by controlled nuclear reactions. These reactions produce heat, which in turn creates steam that runs the generators to produce electricity. Approx. 1/8 of the electricity worldwide generated comes from nuclear energy. In this task, you will analyze the use of nuclear energy as a resource energy.

* Discuss the scientific and technical concepts related to the use of nuclear power as an energy resource. Address the following in your response:

* How is energy released in a nuclear reaction?

Energy is released in a nuclear reaction when there is a change of an unstable to a stable arrangement. This happens when the arrangement of the atoms and electrons in the carbon-based fuel and oxygen is less stable than the organization of atoms and electrons in the carbon dioxide. Nuclear reaction is controlled by regulating the number of neutrons that are created. Control rods absorb neutrons are inserted between the uranium fuel rods. They are increased or reduced in order to keep a constant release of energy. Strong nuclear forces are involved together with the weak interaction. Nuclear energy starts off from the splitting of uranium atoms in a process called fission. At the power plant, the fission process is used to produce heat for creating steam, which is used by a turbine to create electricity (Westinghouse Electric Company LLC . 2013). There are two kinds of reactions used to release nuclear energy. Fusion takes place when two light nuclei fuse together to make a heftier nucleus. This is the process that powers the stars. Fission takes place when an unstable nucleus of a heavy element, such as uranium, splits in two. Fission is used in nuclear power stations (Kindersley,2007).

* How are nuclear reactions controlled?

The fission of radioactive uranium produces nuclear energy. The procedure is controlled by regulating the number of neutrons formed. Control rods that absorb neutrons are inserted between the uranium fuel rods. They are raised or lowered to maintain a balanced release of energy (Kindersley,2007).

* What elements are involved in nuclear power production?

Several elements in the nuclear power plant entering the big fuel, which is typically uranium or plutonium, and thorium. They also use oxygen or metal U as fuels.

* What nuclear forces are involved?

The nuclear force is the force amongst two or more nucleons. It is accountable for the attachment of protons and neutrons into atomic nuclei. The energy is released by the attachment causes the multitudes of nuclei to be less than the total mass of the protons and neutrons which form them; this is the energy used in nuclear power. The force is impressively appealing amongst nucleons at distances of about 1 femtometer (fm) between their centers, but rapidly decreases to unimportance at distances past about 2.5 fm. At very short distances less than 0.7 fm, it becomes repellent, and is accountable for the physical size of nuclei, since the nucleons can come no closer than the force allows (Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.,2013).

* Explain the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear energy, detailing issues related to production, delivery, cost, radiation, air quality, and waste.

The advantages of nuclear energy are, extremely efficient power source, compared to fossil fuels and nuclear fission produces much more energy per unit of fuel-more than a million times more. As a result, can produce greater amounts of electricity more effectively by nuclear energy. Fossil fuels release energy through chemical reactions or transfer of electrons. Protons, on the other hand, contain much more energy due to a force that is known as nuclear power. When condensed in the nucleus, and thus used to create matching higher amounts of energy when separated. “Greener” Productions of Nuclear reactors means...
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