BI 105A Environmental Biology Professor Jill Nissen Montgomery College Fall 2006 Chapter 12 Nuclear Energy Chemical Energy Chemical reactions involve the forming and breaking of bonds between atoms, but Chemical energy is the energy stored in the bonds of molecules
Professor Jill Nissen
Nuclear Energy Comes From Fission
Splitting Atoms Releases Neutrons, Making Heat
Heat Produces Steam, Generating Electricity
Spinning turbine blades and generator
Withdraw control rods,
Insert control rods,
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration
Nuclear Energy Limits Carbon Dioxide Emissions in Power Sector(2002)
Electric Power Industry CO2 Emissions
Estimated Electric Power Industry CO2 Emissions Without Nuclear Power
Nuclear Energy Limits Sulfur Dioxide Emissions in Power Sector(2002)
Electric Power Industry SO2 Emissions
Without Nuclear Power
Sources: EPA, EIA
Introduction to Nuclear Processes• Distinguish between nuclear energy and chemical energy.• Contrast fission and fusion.• Define radioactive decay.
Nuclear Fission• Describe the nuclear fuel cycle, including the process of enrichment.• Define nuclear reactor and describe a typical nuclear power reactor.
Pros and Cons of Nuclear Energy• Discuss the pros and cons of electric power produced by nuclear energy versus coal.
Safety Issues in Nuclear Power Plants• Describe the nuclear power plant accidents at Three Mile Island and Chornobyl.• Discuss the link between nuclear energy and nuclear weapons.
Radioactive Wastes• Distinguish between low-level and high-level radioactive wastes.• Relate the pros and cons of permanent storage of high-level radioactive wastes at Yucca Mountain
The Future of Nuclear Power• Briefly summarize the issues that must be addressed if nuclear power is to become a major energy source in the future.