Electrical Energy from Nuclear Energy

Nuclear power uses uranium and plutonium.

The reactor undergoes a controlled nuclear reaction, which creates heat.

The heat turns water to steam, which turns a turbine, producing electrical energy.

 

The advantages of nuclear energy are obvious:

  • there are no carbon waste products,
  • small amounts of fuel produce huge amounts of energy.

 

But the disadvantages are numerous:

  • It's non-renewable meaning it will run out
  • An accident will create large amounts of radioactive material damaging the environment and human health
  • It remains hazardous for thousands of years
  • The waste is hard to get rid of

 

Chernobyl

In 1986, at a Russian nuclear plant outside Kiev, a fire and explosion released large quantities of radioactivity into the atmosphere.  The radioactivity spread over thousands of square kilometers and radioactive particles were found 1000km away in Sweden. It is estimated that 10,000 people died of exposure and related cancers. Even today, there is a 30km exclusion zone where it is just too dangerous to walk.  It is expected to be like this for the next 100 years.

 

Chernobyl twenty tears later

 

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant damaged by tsunami 2011