A New Look at Nuclear Energy

Whenever the word “nuclear energy” is brought into discussions, what immediately come into people’s mind are the adverse effects of it. We usually visualize mutated human beings who are commonly portrayed as monsters in many films like “The Hills Have Eyes” and the “Wrong Turn” series. Or maybe, the few notable nuclear disasters like what happened in Chernobyl, Russia. It is always the “negative’ side of it.
Despite it all, nuclear energy has continually been developed in many countries and remains to be a vast field of study. What is the truth behind this potentially dangerous energy source?

Also known as atomic energy, nuclear energy is generated through the use of Uranium, a natural metal that is mined over the world. The energy is released by the nucleus of an atom as the result of nuclear fission. In this process, neutrons in the Uranium smash into the nucleus of atoms of Uranium. The Uranium nuclei will then split in half and release an energy that comes in a form of heat.

At this point, carbon dioxide in gas form will be pumped into the reactors with the Uranium, removing the heat from the system. The gas turns very hot, and this heat is used to heat water into steam. The steam created from this process will drive the turbines which in turn drive the generators that produce the electrical energy.

Accordingly, well-operated nuclear power plants do not release contaminants into the environment unlike coal and oil burning. It does not require a lot of space since this energy is by far the most concentrated form.

In United States, nuclear power accounts for 19% of its electricity, while in France, it is as high as 80% as of 2006. Hence, some countries are already adapting the technology and utilizing the energy to its full potential.
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