Element 92 : A Misunderstood Energy Source

2704 Words Nov 10th, 2015 11 Pages
Element 92: A Misunderstood Energy Source
In 1939, Albert Einstein wrote a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, saying, "the element uranium may be turned into a new and important source of energy in the immediate future." Even then, the potential to harness nuclear power as an energy source was recognized. Six years later, the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing an estimated two-hundred thousand people and forever linking the word 'nuclear ' with death and destruction (Danzer 790). Since that day, nuclear power has been trying to throw off the shadow of its dark beginnings. However, there are numerous people to this day that remain wary of this particular power source. Often safety is called into question, citing major disasters as reasons to forgo its use. Efficiency and cost are also brought up, questioning whether nuclear power is a better alternative financially. Many people fail to realize there is more to nuclear energy than the what bedtime horror stories reveal. Nuclear power is a safe and effective energy source that should be utilized more than it is now.
Nuclear power is achieved through fission; the splitting of an atom. Usually, the atom is uranium, the ninety-second element on the periodic table. One of the heavier elements, uranium is unstable and produces an extreme amount of energy when split (Reynoldson 5). Other elements like plutonium can also be used, but plutonium is very rare which results in the majority of nuclear…
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