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Essay Nuclear Energy: Help or Harm

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Nuclear Energy is energy obtained by changes in the nucleus of atoms and is used in a method of production of electric power. Nuclear power plants produce about 15 to 19 percent of the world’s electricity and are a vital source of energy that helps support the power grid. Nuclear energy is produced by splitting a nucleus to release energy in a process called nuclear fission. Nuclear fission happens when the nucleus of an atom is split by another particle into two or more parts. Most of the energy produced by this process is released into heat energy. The heat energy is transferred into water which turns to steam. The steam produced is used to turn turbines and produce electric energy (Corradini).
Even though power plants are regulated by
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The recycling and reuse of nuclear fuel is called a “closed” cycle and would capture the large amounts of energy available in the fuel. Starting to recycle and reuse nuclear fuels would make way for the advancement of recycling methods that would reduce the volume, heat, and toxicity of nuclear fuels, although disposal would still be required for the byproducts (Nuclear Energy Institute).
Nuclear plants are currently the cheapest producers of electricity and are very dependable. Nuclear energy is not affected by unreliable weather conditions, unpredictable price changes, and do not depend on foreign supplies. They are also a key factor in keeping up the electrical grid of America. The United States Department of Energy predicts that the demand for electricity will increase over the next few decades and nuclear energy can help supply this needed electricity. Nuclear power plants have a history of disaster. Three well known nuclear disasters are the incidents at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and the recent disaster currently being dealt with at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Events like this deter the advancements of the nuclear energy industry. The Fukushima Daiichi power plant was a boiling water nuclear reactor wherein the water boils to create pressure used to turn a steam turbine. The steam is then cooled and condensed to be used repeatedly in a closed loop recirculated through the
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