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Nuclear Energy - Essay Example

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The essential energy questions at the beginning of the 21st century turn around two important points: the progressive exhaustion of fossil resources and the worsening of the greenhouse effect. The combustion of fossil fuels (coal, oil and to a lesser degree natural gas) releases into the atmosphere significant quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2), one of the main gases responsible for the greenhouse effect…
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Nuclear Energy
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Nuclear Energy

Download file to see previous pages... Fossil fuels currently account for 80% of the electricity generated. And electricity generation is responsible for 40 per cent of those discharges into the atmosphere that are involved in changes in the greenhouse effect. Nuclear energy therefore holds a considerable environmental advantage: it permits the production of very significant quantities of energy, without atmospheric discharges and without emission of greenhouse gases. (Advantages of nuclear energy for the environment)
The oil and natural gas deposits, the traditional and most important energy sources are exhausting day by day and the search for alternate energy sources has already been started. The current oil resources may be lasted for maximum for 40 more years as per the statistics available at present. It is difficult to imagine a world without any automobiles. Automobiles are helping the movements of goods and human across the countries which are essential for the economic growth of a country. Because of the above fact, it is necessary for the human to find out other alternatives for our future energy requirements. Nuclear energy is one option suggested by scientists because of the immense advantages of it compared to the disadvantages. Solar energy is another option, but the technology required to convert solar energy into useful forms of energy is still expensive which forced the scientific world to focus on nuclear energy.
"Nuclear energy, also called as atomic energy, was first discovered by French scientist Henri Becquerel in 1896. Nuclear energy is used as a power source. Nuclear reactors are the devices that initiate and control nuclear chain reactions. They are used as sources for generation of nuclear power"(Buzzle.com). Nuclear energy sources are of two types; manmade and natural. Energy liberated from sun and other stars are with the help of nuclear fusion reactions where as we can create nuclear energy using nuclear fission reaction. This paper analyses the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear energy as a future energy source for our country.
Nuclear fission
Nuclear fission s the process through which the nuclear energy can be obtained in the form of heat for generating electricity. "When a nucleus fissions, it splits into several smaller fragments. These fragments, or fission products, are about equal to half the original mass. Two or three neutrons are also emitted.

Nuclear Fission

(Nuclear Fission: Basics)
The sum of the masses of these fragments is less than the original mass. This 'missing' mass (about 0.1 percent of the original mass) has been converted into energy according to Einstein's equation" (Nuclear Fission: Basics) the mass which is converted to energy will come out in huge volumes if the reaction is not controlled properly. So the most difficult thing in a nuclear reaction is the control of the chain reaction occurs inside the nuclear reactor.
Advantages of using nuclear power as future energy source
Nuclear energy is considered to be the future energy source because of the following reasons.
Nuclear Fuel is inexpensive
Energy generation is the most concentrated source
Waste is more compact than any source
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