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Nuclear Energy - Essay Example

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Nuclear Energy Professor number Nuclear Energy Around 11-18% of the power that is required by the world is generated from Nuclear sources (Leipoldt). One of the major arguments against Nuclear power, its cost, has ceased to be a factor as people in the power industry have realized how the investment for a nuclear power plant is something that needs to be done only once…
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Nuclear Energy Essay
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Nuclear Energy

This paper shall focus on the advantages of nuclear energy as an alternative to the forms of fuel that are used at present. This paper shall also draw attention to the disadvantages that nuclear energy presents. Risks to human safety and the economic side of nuclear energy shall be discussed as a part of this. This paper shall also seek to look at the possible solutions that may evolve or have already evolved in this area, which may facilitate a safe and clean use of this form of energy for daily needs. Nuclear energy as a form of energy is a relatively new form of energy and the first reactor was created only in the twentieth century. As a result of this, many of the problems that are a part of this technology are yet to be resolved. This however, does not mean that research in this field be completely stopped. Nuclear energy is a form of energy that is produced due to nuclear reactions. The process of fission is used to split the nuclei of uranium atoms that cause an incredible amount of energy to be released. The energy that is thus released is then harnessed and used for other purposes. The immense amount of energy that is released needs to be collected in a safe manner. If this is not done, the risk of an explosion looms large and it is such an uncontrolled reaction (during fusion) that is used to create bombs that have the capacity to cause great damage to humankind. The fact that the reaction, once started, can go on through a chain reaction, adds to the charm of nuclear energy as a form of energy. “Once a uranium nucleus is split, multiple neutrons are released which are used to split other uranium nuclei. This phenomenon is known as a chain reaction.” (Nuclear Energy). Several measures are required to keep such a reaction under control and this contributes to the high initial costs of nuclear energy. The history of nuclear energy, thus, is a short one. The first instance where a controlled nuclear reaction was achieved, was in 1942 –“the first controlled nuclear chain reaction with the first demonstration reactor—the Chicago Pile 1”. The person associated with this event was Dr. Enrico Fermi. In the same decade, in 1945, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki led to the recognition of the harmful effects of nuclear energy. The first instance of the production of electricity using nuclear energy occurred in 1951. The following decades saw the rise of many nuclear power generators which provided electricity to many people all over the world. An important event in this timeline would be the accident at Three Mile Island in 1979 that showed the world that damage could be done even through civilian nuclear reactors when harm was not intended. No one, however, was injured and it was only till the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine that the extent of the damage that civilian nuclear power could inflict was realized. The Fukushima disaster in 2011 cemented the place of nuclear energy as an unsafe form of energy in the minds of many (Nuclear Technology Milestone). As far as the legal aspect of controlling something as explosive as nuclear power goes, there are various laws that seek to curb the manner in which nuclear energy is used around the world. Every country has its own laws to govern its ... Read More
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