Is Nuclear Energy a Solution to the Energy Crisis? (in South Africa)

4447 WordsOct 20, 201218 Pages
IS NUCLEAR ENERGY A SOLUTION TO THE ENERGY CRISIS? Contents * Abstract * Introduction * Report * Conclusion * Bibliography * Appendix Abstract Nuclear energy could be the future of energy and potentially solve the energy crisis problem. Nuclear energy is a sustainable energy source and it can provide millions of times the amount of energy output from a fixed mass of fuel than any other energy source, such as fossil fuel, for the same mass of fuel. Nuclear energy is also very clean for the atmosphere. It produces no greenhouse gases at all. However, nuclear energy can be very harmful to both people and the rest of the natural environment if not managed well. Nuclear meltdowns etc. can release…show more content…
Many military and some civilian (such as some icebreaker) ships use nuclear marine propulsion, a form of nuclear propulsion. A few space vehicles have been launched using full-fledged nuclear reactors: the Soviet RORSAT series and the American SNAP-10A. International research is continuing into safety improvements such as passively safe plants, the use of nuclear fusion, and additional uses of process heat such as hydrogen production (in support of a hydrogen economy), for desalinating sea water, and for use in district heating systems. What is nuclear fission? Nuclear fission can be either a nuclear reaction or a radioactive decay process in which the nucleus of an atom splits into smaller parts (lighter nuclei) often producing free neutrons and photons, which are in the form of gamma rays. This releases an extremely large amount of energy. The two nuclei produced are usually similar sizes, though slightly different (usual mass ratio is about 3 to 2), for common fissile isotopes. Most fissions produce two charged fragments (known as a binary fission), but sometimes three positively charged fragments are produced (ternary fission). In a ternary fission, the size of the smallest fragment can be anywhere between the size of a proton to the size of an argon nucleus. When producing nuclear energy/power in a reactor,
Open Document