Nuclear power is the production of energy derived from controlled, induced nuclear reactions. These reactions generally create heat that is then collected and used to run steam turbines that produce electricity. The most common element associated with the production of nuclear power is uranium.
Nuclear power harnesses the energy from nuclear fission to heat water, using the steam to generate electricity. The controlled nuclear reaction in the heart of the reactor supplies the heat, and can be reduced or intensified to adjust the amount of power created in order to meet demand.
Since nuclear energy does not depend on fossil fuels, it offers benefits including reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fluctuating oil or gas prices. As of 2014, the worldwide fleet of nuclear reactors reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 2 billion metric tons each year.
According to the World Nuclear Association, 31 different countries operate nuclear power plants. The total output of these reactors represents 11 percent of the energy produced all around the world each year. Many countries are working to increase their nuclear capabilities, but others, specifically
Nuclear power stations generate electricity through the fission, or splitting, of uranium atoms inside the reactor core, which generates extreme amounts of heat. The core is surrounded with water, which boils due to the heat, creating steam that is then used to drive a turbine to create electricity.
A nuclear reactor is a facility that produces electricity by turning turbines with steam that is produced by boiling water with radioactive material. The radioactive material is usually uranium-235, consisting of small ceramic pellets encased in a metal rod. The chemical reaction that produces radia
Nuclear power is generated via a process known as fission in nuclear power plants that are designed to convert the latent heat of radioactive decay into electrical power. The fuel for the reaction is any of a number of radioactive elements, most commonly slightly enriched uranium.
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. The process of splitting atoms is known as
Enrico Fermi is considered to have invented nuclear power, along with his colleagues at the University of Chicago in 1942, by successfully demonstrating the first controlled self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction. His experiment using uranium isotopes showed that the neutrons released by splitting a
In 1934, physicist Enrico Fermi discovered nuclear fission through his research and experiments. He forced together neutrons with uranium atoms and noticed that the product was lighter than that of uranium.