Nuclear Radiation Effects On Nuclear Power Essay

1508 Words Nov 19th, 2015 7 Pages
Nuclear radiation effects
ERT term 4 With the depletion of fossil fuels and their harmful carbon dioxide emission, nuclear power is an increasing energy source. World-wide around 11.5% of energy is nuclear and in countries like France it’s 76.9% of their power source. With nuclear power being a renewable and relatively clean source of energy, nuclear power plants are being built all over the world. But despite the environmentally friendly aspects of nuclear power, when nuclear waste is not stored properly it can potentially leak and when in the environment continue to release harmful radiation for extended amounts of time. The release of radiation in nature is due to decay and varies between elements because of their different half-lives.

Nuclides (radioactive isotopes) are stable when they have enough binding energy. When elements are created separate nucleons are crushed to form a nuclide, during this process energy is lost, and this energy is binding energy. The difference in the mass of the sum of nucleons and the nucleus is the mass defect.

Nuclear energy is released through the decay of unstable nuclei. Nuclei become unstable when too much energy is left in the nucleus. This usually occurs in heavier elements, due to the increase of protons in the nucleus increasing electric repulsion. To combat repulsion protons are ejected from the nucleus leaving more neutrons. The more neutrons a nucleus has the stronger its nuclear force and attraction of nucleons.…

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