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The Pros And Cons Of Renewable Energy

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From solar to geothermal energy resources, renewable energy is making a steady rise, but will it ever be able to replace the 449 nuclear reactors and thousands of fossil fuel power stations? In 2016, nuclear energy supplied at least one-quarter of 13 countries electricity. 19.7 percent of energy in the United States came from nuclear energy (World Statistics). Fossil fuels makes up 65 percent, while renewable energy accounted for 15 percent. (Electicity in the United States) Nuclear fission and nuclear fusion are the two types of nuclear change. When a nucleus fissions it splits into fission products that are about equal to half the original mass. Along with the fission products there are two or three neutrons that are also emitted. The sums of the masses of these fragments is less than the original mass. The missing mass has been converted into energy. (Nuclear Fission: Basics) Nuclear fusion is quite the opposite. When multiple nuclei join together it forms a heavier nucleus, this causes the release or absorption of energy depending on the masses of the nuclei involved. The most stable are iron and nickel, they have the largest binding energies per nucleon. Nuclei lighter than iron or nickel release energy while nuclei heavier absorb energy. (Nuclear Fusion) It is favorable to use light elements, heavier elements require more energy to fuse the nuclei together. Fission is the process that powers current nuclear power plants. The four main types of renewable energy
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