Saturday, April 30, 2011

How Nuclear Energy Works

Much has been said about nuclear energy, but there has been little mentioned about how it actually works. Nuclear power starts with the nuclear reactor core, which is a bundle of uranium in the center of the nuclear reactor that heats the water into steam through nuclear fission. Energy is released when the nucleus of an atom is split and turns the water into steam, which turns the turbines to release electricity. When this chain reaction of fission heating up the water is not controlled, it can become overheated and cause radioactive elements to escape into the environment.  Many people have praised nuclear energy because it helps alleviate dependency on fossil fuels, however problems can arise and lead to radiation leaking into the public, which is what happened on Chernobyl and Fukushima.

-Cristina Coyne

Fukushima Power Plant

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