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Nuclear Power in the US - Essay Example

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Nuclear power is generated by a chain reaction of atom, which is the minute particle that cannot be further divided. They are the “building blocks” of every single thing that exists from a human to a chair. Atoms are made up of electrons which have negative charge, circling nuclei consisting of protons and neutrons. Protons are positively charged while the neutrons are neutral that is they are not charged. There are some elements whose atoms are unstable atoms. Such unstable atom’s nucleus tends to break and form a stable atom. In doing so, they emit enormous energy which eventually produces heat. Such elements having unstable atoms are called “radioactive elements”. Before forming a stable atom, the nucleus hits other atoms after its breakage forming a chain reaction. This chain reaction is called “nuclear fission”. The most commonly known among radioactive elements is uranium. (Morris, 2007) The process of making nuclear power starts with the mining of radioactive elements which are then processed accordingly. The processed radioactive elements are then fed to the reactors of nuclear power plant, generating a chain reaction or “nuclear fission” which eventually creates heat. This heat turns the water inside the plant to steam. The steam produced through this whole process is then used to generate energy in the form of electricity or is used to power steam turbines. The usual sources of energy i.e. fossil fuels which are formed from the remains of animals and plants are coal, oil and natural gas (Benduhn, 2009). The main reasons for their preference is their convenient availability and low cost. Yet both these reasons are no more applicable as being natural reservoirs they are not renewable. Hence, these sources are decreasing day by day and their prices are hiking up due to their shortage. In addition, their burning is the major cause of pollution eventually leading to health and environmental hazards. It is also the main concern of environmentalists as many of them believe that burning of these fuels is among the many factors creating global warming. Carbon dioxide is among the main emissions from these burned fossil fuels which is creating global warming as it creates the effect of a greenhouse, by keeping the heat trapped thus disturbing the whole atmosphere from land to air and oceans. (Hantula et al 2010) Nuclear Power, on the other hand is a reliable source of energy. The main advantage of nuclear power is that it neither emits gases that create greenhouse effect nor produces soot. Therefore it can be considered somewhat eco friendly. In addition, the quantity of wastes produced by nuclear power is very small and can be disposed off easily. Another fact that makes nuclear power more effective is that a very small quantity of a radioactive element is sufficient as compared to coal that produces same amount of energy. Though it is also not a renewable source of energy, yet the quantity required to make energy is so small that its reservoirs will benefit generations after generations. Countries like America and France are benefiting from nuclear power by producing electricity through it. Around 435 nuclear reactors in more or less 30 countries of the world were producing 15 percent of the world’s electricity in the year 2009. (Hantula et al 2010) ...Show more


In the paper “Nuclear Power in the US” the author explains the process of making nuclear power, which starts with the mining of radioactive elements which are then processed accordingly. The processed radioactive elements are then fed to the reactors…
Nuclear Power in the US essay example
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