The Effects Of Removing Humans From The World 's Nuclear Reactors

2302 Words May 30th, 2015 10 Pages
I My Questions—What I Already Know, and What I Want to Know Ever since I was young, I’ve loved exploring the concept of how things work. This idea can apply to an endless list of things whether it is just a little toy, the most advanced car, or the tallest skyscraper. When I started reading The World Without us by Alan Weisman, my mind was immediately drawn to the question of how some of humans’ most interesting technology would function without our help. The most fascinating creation that caught my attention turned out to be all the world’s nuclear reactors. Though I only have limited background knowledge about the way in which they operate, I have read about what can happen to nuclear reactors even with man’s supervision, and I am intrigued to discover the effects of removing humans from the equation. A nuclear power plant, in a sense, is much like a fossil-fueled power plant; water is turned to steam which drives a turbine that creates electricity. The contrast comes in the source of heat. With nuclear power, the heat to create the steam is produced when uranium atoms split, a process called fission. Under control, this is an ingenious way to create a power supply, however, the repercussions of a slight accident in a nuclear reactor are far worse than an accident in any other power plant. Nuclear power plants are considered far more dangerous than others because of their power source: the element uranium 235. When these atoms are split, they release an abundance of…
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