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Nuclear Energy Essay

2856 words - 12 pages

Nuclear Energy Research Paper
Global warming is a major issue in today’s world that affects many people, animals, economies, and society as a whole. What is global warming? Global warming is the rising average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. It’s been constantly rising over the past 100 years because of major contributions which include: greenhouse gases (especially CO2) being emitted, industrialization, burning of fossil fuels, and the increase in population. Global warming was first discovered in 1896 by a Swedish scientist named Svante Arrhenius who proposed an idea that there is a relation between atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations ...view middle of the document...

There are various alternative energy sources but nuclear is the biggest one. Nuclear energy is an alternative solution to solve the global warming problem but may not be the best solution.
Nuclear energy is the use of radioactive material to do useful work. It occurs in nuclear power plants through a process called nuclear fission. Fission is basically attacking the nucleus of an atom with neutrons causing the nucleus to split and releasing energy. Fission that is performed on radioactive materials, such as uranium, creates a greater amount of heat that can be used as energy. The typical life span of uranium is that it’s mined and is converted into a compact form where it is then transported to a processing facility. The compacted form of uranium is then enriched using different techniques and manufactured into rods nuclear fuel. The nuclear fuel is then brought to a nuclear power plant and this is where its energy is used for certain things such as powering electricity. One rod of nuclear energy can last for about six years. After its energy is used it is brought to either a final repository where it will eventually decay over years or a reprocessing plant that can recycle 95% of the used fuel so it can be returned to usage in a power plant. Currently, nuclear power plants provide about 6% of the world’s energy and about 14% of the world’s electricity. The United States, Japan, and France are the world’s leaders in nuclear power plants. Nuclear energy was first used in WWII against Japan when the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan. Two bombs killed a total of more than 170,000 people. Half of those people died the first day the bomb was dropped and the rest died from radiation sickness days to months after. Nuclear energy is a powerful source of energy and can be used in small amounts that can last over a long period of time. However, it’s dangerous to people and hazardous to the earth and living things.
The debate for the use of nuclear energy brings up good topics on why it would be a good thing for this world. Scientists and politics who believe that nuclear power is a good thing believe that it would be good for us economically, socially, and environmentally. Some positives and pros about nuclear energy is that according to Mr. Alan McDonald, a senior officer at the IAEA Department of Nuclear Energy, “It provides the most amount of energy for the least amount of fuel, and less fuel means less waste, which means less waste is in the atmosphere to become someone else’s problem.” Mr. McDonald also talks about how Uranium is readily available since it’s very common in the earth’s crust. It’s also very reliable and has no combustion so no carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases are released. It would help the economy by creating more jobs and reduce our dependency on foreign oil since uranium is available domestically and in the oceans. Benefits of having nuclear energy are that it’s a cleaner source of energy that doesn’t...

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