Essay On Nuclear Power

1010 Words 5 Pages
One of the world’s most powerful sources of energy production is nuclear power, the use of exothermic nuclear processes to generate useful heat and energy. Soon after the discovery in the early 20th century that radioactive elements released an immense amount of energy the pursuit to harness nuclear energy began. Ways of harnessing this energy at the time were, however, impractical due to the short half-lives. This changed in the late 1930s with the discovery of nuclear fission, a process that entails either a nuclear reaction or radioactive decay in which the nucleus of a particle is split into smaller parts. The Atomic Age was born. From simple beginnings, nuclear power has evolved into a complex nucleus of efficient systems producing power …show more content…
Now there are over 430 commercial nuclear power reactors operable in 31 countries, with over 370,000 MWe of total capacity. It also provides over 13.4% of the world’s electricity as a continuous, reliable base-load power, without carbon dioxide emissions. Nuclear power is also used to power some 150 ships and submarines. Research is continuously being done to further improve the range of uses for nuclear energy around the world, 55 countries operate a total of about 240 research reactors. France leads nuclear production, with about a quarter of its total energy coming from nuclear power. The USA, UK, Spain and Russia, all get almost one fifth of their power from nuclear energy production. Less than 5% of China’s energy production comes from nuclear power. Instead they use coal as a main power source, a cheaper, less clean and inefficient means of …show more content…
According to a graph from the Forbes Magazine, nuclear power is the second most cost-efficient energy power source. It is $22 per MWhr (megawatts per hour), coming in a close second to hydro-electricity which is $19 per MWhr. While green energy looks appealing on the surface it has no hope of actually solving any real energy needs. Nuclear power is proven, efficient, and next to hydroelectric power the most efficient use of land we have where resources are constrained. The relatively recent developments of fissionable material recycling, breeder reactors, means that fission system life cycle can be increased until more technology (fusion discussed later) can be brought into play. Politics has been heavily involved in the demise of US nuclear power development. The current needs of energy policy have the potential to overturn years of poor energy policy development

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