The Power of the Radioactive Atom

1410 Words May 1st, 2016 6 Pages
Human civilization as a whole has always been innovative. They turned sticks and stones to tools, and the Wright Flyer I to the Apollo 11 in a mere sixty-six years. Most importantly innovations turned mud huts into thriving modern cities with billions of people. The secret to success is power. But by continuing to fuel large cities and businesses with fossil fuels, many nations are knowingly releasing tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. A study done by Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center states that "The world pumped 39.8 billion tons (36.1 billion metric tons) of carbon dioxide last year. That is 778 million tons (706 metric tons) or 2.3 per cent more than the previous year" (Zolfagharifard 2014). The United States and …show more content…
Other mines however can operate successfully with very low grade ores, down to about 0.02% U. ("Uranium Overview" 4)
Not only is uranium abundant, but there is also a variety of ways to create nuclear rods. Some are made from plutonium while others are made from thorium. In contrast nuclear waste can also be recycled by using several different types of processes like Electrometallurgy, which uses electric currents to isolate the metals from the radioactive material or Pyrometallurgy. in retrospect, this process is a similar procedure; however, instead of using electricity, it accomplishes the same objective but with heat similar to smelting precious metals.
Nuclear energy is produced by splitting the uranium-238 isotope on an atomic level. the reaction is very strong and releases energy in the form of heat. The release of energy is used to power light water reactors. However, there is nothing light about the energy produced from a single reactor. The amount of gigawatts of electric energy produced by countries like Japan, the United States, and China is roughly 183 GWe-- enough to easily power three or four large cities inside each country consistently. As a result of nuclear powers immense energy output, comparisons can be made to the importance of the Sun. For instance "A small fraction of the Sun’s energy reaches earth as sunlight, ultraviolet light and infrared light. In this way nuclear fusion reactions

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