Taking a Look at Nuclear Energy

2704 Words Jan 26th, 2018 11 Pages
Most people think of nuclear bombs. However, nuclear energy can be used for so much more than bombs. In fact, if nuclear power did not exist, we would not exist! This is because the sun generates it energy from nuclear reactions of hydrogen nuclei into helium. Also, nuclear power could be the next solution for cheap energy for people and the radiation it gives off could even rid someone of cancer.
What is nuclear power?- (Sec. 1.1)
To state it directly, nuclear power is the use of nuclear processes to create heat and energy. This energy that comes from exothermic nuclear processes can be converted into radiation or power. There are two ways to produce nuclear power- by fission or fusion. Fission is splitting atoms of a radioactive element such as a uranium isotope. The radioactive elements used for fission can be found in the actinide section of the periodic table (Figure 1 below ↓). Fusion is the process of joining isotopes of hydrogen (which is exactly what the sun does). How is nuclear power created?- (Sec. 1.2)
Fission (Sec. 1.2.1)- The energy that is used for heat or electricity comes from a nuclear power plant. In a nutshell, the energy comes from the reaction of uranium atoms splitting and giving off energy. The uranium atom is spilt in half by protons. To cool down this reaction, CO2 or water is pumped throughout the reactor. The cooling down makes steam, and this steam drives a generator that creates…

More about Taking a Look at Nuclear Energy