A Game Changer Or Simply A Danger? Essay
Honors Chemistry - Period 6
23 November 2014
A Game Changer or Simply a Danger?
With every choice, there is a fine line between making progress and losing everything one has worked for. The use of nuclear energy is the very epitome of this. While it provides an alternative to the energy sources we use today, nuclear power comes with great risks that can take a lot to fix. However, I believe that with the proper precautions in place, we should continue the use of nuclear energy because the advantages it brings outweigh its drawbacks greatly. Nuclear power plants generate about 12.3% of the world’s electricity,1 generally using Uranium-235 or Plutonium-239 for the nuclear fission process, which involves an atom splitting into two smaller ones and releasing high-energy neutrons. Fusion, a process in which smaller atoms merge, typically releases much more energy, but it requires temperatures too high to reach in power plants.2 Today, there are 435 power plants under use by 30 countries.1 100 of them are in the United States and are comprised of pressurized water reactors and boiling water reactors.3 Pressurized water reactors heat the water surrounding the nuclear fuel, the material that undergoes fission, while keeping the water under pressure to prevent boiling. The hot water is turned into steam and the heat is transferred to another water supply. This new supply evaporates and the steam spins a turbine, driving a generator to produce electricity.…