To some, nuclear energy offers a clean energy alternative that frees us from the shackles of fossil fuel dependence. To others, it summons images of disaster: quake-ruptured Japanese power plants belching radioactive steam, the dead zone surrounding Chernobyl's concrete sarcophagus.. But what happens inside a nuclear power plant to bring such marvel and misery into being?
Nuclear plants are different because they do not burn anything to create steam. Instead, they split uranium atoms in a process called fission. As a result, unlike other energy sources, nuclear power plants do not release carbon or pollutants like nitrogen and sulfur oxides into the air.
Because nuclear power plants do not burn fuel, they do not produce greenhouse gas emissions. By reliably providing power 24 hours a day, nuclear energy is an important part of the energy mix necessary to meet electricity demand. And, with no carbon emissions, it will remain an important clean energy resource for the future.
Nuclear power is ultimately not all that different from coal power: Dig up a finite resource and apply energy in a very specific way to unleash a much greater amount of energy stored within that fuel.
How Does Nuclear Energy Work? Nuclear energy is produced in much the same way that electricity is produced by other power plants; the splitting of atoms creates heat, turning water into steam, and then the pressure of the steam turns the generator with the end product being electricity.
How Does Nuclear Energy Work? September 30, 2015 Nuclear Energy Written by Greentumble. In its most basic form, nuclear energy is. energy that originates from within the nucleus (core) of an atom. The powerful energy that the atom contains is what holds its dense nucleus together.
Nuclear power is the use of nuclear reactions that release nuclear energy to generate heat, which most frequently is then used in steam turbines to produce electricity in a nuclear power plant. As a nuclear technology , nuclear power can be obtained from nuclear fission , nuclear decay and nuclear fusion reactions.
How Does Nuclear Energy Work?: A brief scientific introduction. June 4, 2015 The Editors. ... However, despite these concerns, most countries using nuclear energy routinely reprocess their fuel, with the US being a notable exception mostly due its policies that attempted to “lead by example” in reducing weapons proliferation in the 1970’s.
How Does Nuclear Energy Work? The term nuclear energy has become synonymous with production of power and also with potential dangers from radiation. Uranium is most commonly used fuel for nuclear power plants. Unfortunately, nuclear energy is not renewable but the metal uranium is widely available through the world. There are different types of ...