The Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident
!!!Introduction to the Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident
Nuclear apocalypses are a Hollywood favorite, but how close has the United States actually come to a severe nuclear disaster? In 1979, we came pretty close with the __Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident__. The Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident involved the partial meltdown of a nuclear reactor inside a Pennsylvania nuclear power plant. …show more content…
Clean energy does not produce pollution, increase greenhouse gases, or deplete natural resources in the same way that fossil fuels (such as oil, gas, and coal) do. Nuclear energy developed as we began to tap into the energy of the atom during the early part of the last century.
In 1917, __Ernest Rutherford__ was the first person to split the atom, which releases an incredible amount of energy. Splitting atoms creates a chain reaction of energy release, known as __nuclear fission__. Unfortunately, early applications of nuclear energy had less to do with clean energy, and more to do with warfare. Highly radioactive elements such as Uranium and Plutonium were used in nuclear bombs which ushered in a new era of warfare during World War II that had the potential to destroy the entire planet.
After the war, scientists put their efforts into civilian uses of nuclear energy for heat and electricity. Nuclear fission creates energy millions of times more powerful than fossil fuels, but the difficulty is controlling the reaction to prevent chaos and disaster. Nuclear fission is controlled in __nuclear reactors__, which are key parts of nuclear power plants. The first nuclear power plant to create commercial electricity was built in 1954 in Obninsk, Russia. Shortly after, nuclear power plants began to crop up in the United States and throughout the developed …show more content…
The United States still leads the world in the number of nuclear power plants constructed, with one hundred plants in operation. Other countries rely much more heavily on nuclear power. For instance, France gets about 77 percent of its energy from nuclear power. Japan, another country with a high percentage of nuclear power production, recently experienced the Fukushima power plant meltdown after a 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Fukushima reminded us that nuclear power still poses significant risks, even with increased regulation and safety around the