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How Dangerous Nuclear Reactors Are - Essay Example

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Nuclear reactors have been in the news for many reasons lately. Nuclear energy is a highly powerful resource, and as with anything that is so powerful, it has both good and bad sides and must be treated with care. This essay analyzes how dangerous nuclear reactors are…
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How Dangerous Nuclear Reactors Are
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Download file to see previous pages The most important thing is to have a thorough understanding of exactly what happens inside of a nuclear reactor.
The kind of physical process that occurs within a nuclear reactor is called nuclear fission, and it is one of two common forms of nuclear reaction. The other is called nuclear fusion, and that is what is used in most modern atomic bombs, and won’t be discussed extensively here. Each kind of reaction revolves around changing a single atom – fission is the splitting of one atom into two, whereas fusion is the combining of two atoms into a new one.
Every atom is made of three parts: neutrons, protons, and electrons. Each of these has a charge – protons are positively charged, and attract negatively charged electrons. Neutrons have no charge. Neutrons are naturally occurring parts of atoms that exist in every element – usually, there are just as many neutrons as there are protons in any given element. They are very heavy and give most elements about half of their total weight. If you look at your body in terms of atomic weight, about half of it would be made of neutrons.
The three parts of atoms, protons, electrons, and neutrons, exist in a balance of atoms that make up the things that we see around us. They exist in a balance because whenever they become unbalanced, they break down or recombine in a more balanced form. Think of a coin standing on its edge – in small change will cause it to fall so that one of the two sides is flat against the ground, but once it falls it won’t move or change as easily as it originally did. Atoms are like this – they are in a stable situation because if they weren’t, they couldn’t last very long. Changing one of the elements, either protons, neutrons or electrons, however, creates an unbalanced atom that wants to change to become balanced again. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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