Essay on Power of Nuclear Energy

2589 Words 11 Pages
The use of nuclear energy is a big topic for debate. Many countries have fully embraced it while others, such as the U. S., haven’t. Nuclear energy is feared for its danger and scorned because of its wastes. On the other hand, nuclear energy does have some pros like cheaper cost of energy and environmentally safe. Reactor breeders show great promise in nuclear waste, but are it enough to convince the nation?

Nuclear knowledge has existed for a long time. Nuclear Engineering U.S. Department of Energy relates, ―By 1900, the physicists knew the atom contains large quantities of energy‖ (par 11). Many others formed good theories, such as Ernest Rutherford and Einstein’s contribution with his equation E=mc^2. In 1934 a
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Nuclear Engineering U.S. Department of Energy explains that, ― It [self-sustaining chain] would happen if enough uranium could be brought together under proper conditions‖ (par 19).
The result of all this talk was that in 1942 Fermi gathered scientists at the University of Chicago to discuss their theories and possibly create a self-sustaining chain reaction. By November of that year they had constructed plans and were prepared to build this new model known as Chicago Pile-1. Nuclear Engineering U.S. Department of Energy describes the model as, ―In addition to uranium and graphite, it contained control rods made of cadmium. Cadmium is a metallic element that absorbs neutrons. When the rods were in the pile, there were fewer neutrons to fission uranium atoms. This slowed the chain reaction. When the rods were pulled out, more neutrons were available to split atoms. The chain reaction sped up‖(par 21). In December of 1942 the scientists were ready to demonstrate their hard work. This was a huge break through in the nuclear world.
Most of the early research done on nuclear energy consisted of trying to make nuclear weapons. The experiments were performed in New Mexico under the name of the Manhattan Project. Their efforts were a success with the creation of the first atom bomb. After World War II though, the use of nuclear energy was turned more peaceful uses. In 1946 Congress created the Atomic Energy…