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The Use of Nuclear Power - Assignment Example

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This is a literature review that is focused on the discussion of the adoption of nuclear energy in the world, the recent developments in nuclear reactor technology, and social implications of this type of energy. Social implications are obvious and have also been discussed in the current literature…
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Download file to see previous pages In recent times, various developments have been realized in not only the adoption of nuclear energy as an alternative to fossil fuels but also in related nuclear reactor technology, which has also contributed to the debate. Social implications are obvious and have also been discussed in the current literature. This is a literature review that is focused on the discussion of the adoption of nuclear energy in the world, the recent developments in nuclear reactor technology, and social implications of this type of energy.
The 1930s saw the beginning of a long journey to the production of nuclear energy when the understanding of the atom was propagated by Curies, Ernest Rutherford, and Bohr. Prior to the Second World War, there emerged a large incentive and funding, which precipitated the popular Manhattan project. This is the same project that saw the materialization of the first nuclear reaction to be controlled by the man in 1942, which took place at the University of Chicago (Mahaffey, 2010). The development of nuclear reactors was inspired by this historical breakthrough, which saw further efforts directed towards more funding in an effort to advance the creation of advanced reactor technology as well as the developments of the fuel cycle and nuclear material. This development saw the installation of the first nuclear power plant in the United States, which was established in Shippingport, Pennsylvania, the operations of which kicked off in 1957 (Mahaffey, 2010). A major issue that occurred at the plant resulted in its complete closure and decommissioning in 1982, which involved vehement contaminations and extremely low thermal efficiency compared to the energy it was producing – thermal efficiency was 29 percent. The original reactors were Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR), which functioned by keeping liquid water around the core fuel reactor.This literature review has been focused on the development of a basic understanding of nuclear power and how it has developed since its discovery in the 1930s. Recent developments have various social, economic, and environmental implications. An important dimension that this review has taken to account is that do design, which has been used and will be continued to be used in future in dealing with social, economic, and environmental problems related with nuclear energy. In this regard, the problems mentioned, for instance, in the Fukushima Daiichi case, can be avoided in the design phase.
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