Nuclear Power And Nuclear Energy

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Nuclear power is one of the most controversial forms of energy in the modern world; the destructive power of nuclear armaments has led to worldwide fear of nuclear energy. But as scientific communities continue to learn more about nuclear power, as well as ways to make it more practical in the competitive energy market, it may soon see an increase in its use in the United States. Consequently, several major problems with nuclear energy need to be evaluated by the U.S., and potential improvements to these issues recognized. First, a finite supply of fuel and a strong energy market to compete with necessitate improvements to the efficiency of energy production in nuclear plants. Subsequently, fuel that has been used in a reactor, now …show more content…

Due to this high heat absorption, less of the energy produced in fission is lost, instead being captured by the water and used to generate electricity. However, both of these methods have limitations, and are not immediately implementable. Although “pyrometallurgical recycling technology [. . .] has been successfully demonstrated on a pilot level in operating power plants,” it is not yet commercially usable, while Buongiorno is working to make nano-spiked water more stable, as it “agglomerate[s] and settle[s] quickly if appropriate chemical and thermal conditions are not carefully maintained” (Hannum et. al.; Halber). Though these methods are still in development, is is probable that they will be refined until success, improving the efficiency of nuclear reactors enough to combat the limited supply of fuel. Alternatively, some scientists are researching another fuel source altogether: thorium. According to the Encyclopedia of Global Resources, thorium, an element with similar properties to uranium, “has been considered as fuel for some [...] reactors, in part because it is far more common than uranium,” being approximately “3-4 times more abundant than uranium” (Wiggins 833; Rhodes). Christopher J. Rhodes, author of over 180 scientific publications on numerous topics, indicates that thorium has the benefits of

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