Nuclear Power Team 2 Leann Baer, Zach Rodgers, Megan Gershey
Fission vs. Fusion http://knol.google.com/k/-/-/oml631csgjs7/e4w1oo/fusion.jpg http://knol.google.com/k/-/-/oml631csgjs7/e4w1oo/fission.jpg
Life Cycle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nuclear_Fuel_Cycle.png
Then and Now • 1954: USSR’s Obninsk Nuclear Power Plant • Nuclear capacity started at 1 GW (gigawatt) and quickly rose to 100 GW in the late 1970’s. • In the1980’s, nuclear power increased much more slowly • In 2007, 14% of the world's electricity came from nuclear power, despite concerns about safety. • 63 nuclear units were cancelled in the USA between 1975 and 1980.
Can energy production from nuclear energy be enhanced in areas already producing it? http://www.world-nuclear.org/outlook/nuclear_century_outlook.html
Ability to enhance nuclear power overall Can energy production from nuclear energy be enhanced in areas already producing it? • new ore discoveries and advanced mining techniques could increase the production of nuclear energy • even though other countries have the potential to increase nuclear power, over 80% of the future’s nuclear power will come from countries already using nuclear power • currently producing countries such as Japan, the United States, and France have the potential to use much more nuclear power than before • capacity for nuclear power for already-producing countries in 2008 was 367 GW, but could increase to 9137 GW by 2100
Ability to enhance nuclear power overall • Can energy production from nuclear energy be developed in those areas where it has not yet been developed? • New ore discoveries and advanced mining techniques could increase the production of nuclear energy • Countries currently uninvolved in nuclear power have the potential to generate 999 GW by 2100
Environmental Issues • What environmental problems does nuclear energy pose? Are those problems real or exaggerated? • overall, it is clean energy • nuclear energy doesn’t produce carbon dioxide or give off other greenhouse gases • little waste is produced • the waste that is produced is highly dangerous and radioactive • must be stored away • when buried underground, it causes damage to the surrounding environment and the inhabitants • must be kept away from earthquakes and floods http://www.world-nuclear.org/outlook/clean_energy_need.html
Social/Political Problems • High initial investment cost –somewhere between $6 and $9billion. • Uranium has to be mined. • Only 3% of uranium is used out of the rods used to power the reactors. • At current consumption rates the minable uranium will last only 100 more years. • 2/3 of energy produced goes off as waste heat. • Droughts can pose a problem, because reactors need lots of water for cooling.
Social/Political Problems • A nuclear power plant produces 3 cubic meters of spent fuel each year. • The spent fuel contains actinides which remain radioactive for a long time. • We do not have a way of disposing of radioactive waste. • There is a continuous threat of radioactive contamination. • A nuclear power plant could have a meltdown, which is when fuel rods overheat and basically melt down and contaminate everything.
Laws and Regulations • The U.S. environmental protection agency is concerned with the amount of radioactive waste that is produced. (50,000) metric tons as of 2007) • The U.S. Department of Energy has a program that promotes secure, competitive, and environmentally responsible nuclear technologies to serve the present and future needs of the United States and the world. • The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission also regulates nuclear energy in the United States, and promotes nuclear security. • There are lots of other organizations that promote safe nuclear practices such as the American Nuclear Society, Canadian Nuclear Society, etc. • Organizations such as the World Nuclear Association, World Nuclear University, and World Nuclear News, help research and educate people on nuclear energy. As well as promoting safe nuclear practices.