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NUCLEAR ENERGY PRESENT BY:OLUWATOBI BAKARE :LUMANA HALAN BAYARO
What is Nuclear energy? • Nuclear energy usually means the part of the energy of an atomic nucleus, which can be released by fusion or fission or radioactive decay. • Anatomic nucleus: An atom consists of a centrally located nucleus surrounded by electrons revolving in certain physically permitted orbits. The nucleus itself is made up of neutrons and protons, collectively called nucleons.
NUCLEAR ENERGY • Nuclear energy, also known as Atomic Energy, was first discovered by French scientist Henri Becquerel in 1896. It is used as a power source. Nuclear reactors are the devices that initiate and control nuclear chain reactions. They are used as sources for generation of nuclear power. Currently, the fission process is prominently carried out in most of the nuclear reactors to generate energy. Uranium (U-235) is used as fuel for nuclear reactors because it's atoms split very easily. Fission reaction generates heat which helps boiling of water and produces steam. The pressurized steam moves the steam turbines, resulting in the production of electricity.
NUCLEAR FISSION • Nuclear Fission: In nuclear fission, the nuclei of atoms are split, causing energy to be released. The atomic bomb and nuclear reactors work by fission. The element uranium is the main fuel used to undergo nuclear fission to produce energy since it has many favorable properties. Uranium nuclei can be easily split by shooting neutrons at them. Also, once a uranium nucleus is split, multiple neutrons are released which are used to split other uranium nuclei. This phenomenon is known as a chain reaction.
NUCLEAR FUSION • Nuclear Fusion: In nuclear fusion, the nuclei of atoms are joined together, or fused. This happens only under very hot conditions. The Sun, like all other stars, creates heat and light through nuclear fusion. In the Sun, hydrogen nuclei fuse to make helium. The hydrogen bomb, humanity's most powerful and destructive weapon, also works by fusion. The heat required to start the fusion reaction is so great that an atomic bomb is used to provide it. Hydrogen nuclei fuse to form helium and in the process release huge amounts of energy thus producing a huge explosion.
Image showing how the sun creates heat and light through nuclear fusion
NUCLEAR ENERGY Nuclear energy also may refer to: • Nuclear binding energy: the energy required to split a nucleus of an atom into its component parts. • Nuclear Energy (sculpture): a bronze sculpture by Henry Moore in the University of Chicago • Nuclear potential energy: the potential energy of the particles inside an atomic nucleus • Nuclear power:the use of sustained nuclear fission to generate heat and electricity • Nuclear technology: applications of nuclear energy including nuclear power, nuclear medicine, and nuclear weapons
PRODUCTION OF NUCLEAR ENERGY Changes can occur in the structure of the nuclei of atoms. These changes are called nuclear reactions. Energy created in a nuclear reaction is called nuclear energy, or atomic energy. • Changes can occur in the structure of the nuclei of atoms. These changes are called nuclear reactions. Energy created in a nuclear reaction is called nuclear energy, or atomic energy. • Naturally: Some nuclear energy is produced naturally. For example, the Sun and other stars make heat and light by nuclear reactions. • Man-Made: Nuclear energy can be man-made too. Machines called nuclear reactors, parts of nuclear power plants, provide electricity for many cities. Man-made nuclear reactions also occur in the explosion of atomic and hydrogen bombs.
Milestones in the History of Nuclear Energy • December 2, 1942: The Nuclear Age began at the University of Chicago when Enrico Fermi made a chain reaction in a pile of uranium. • August 6, 1945: The United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, killing over 100,000. • August 9, 1945: The United States dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, killing over 40,000. • November 1, 1952: The first large version of the hydrogen bomb (thousands of times more powerful than the atomic bomb) was exploded by the United States for testing purposes. • February 21, 1956: The first major nuclear power plant opened in England.
Advantages of Nuclear Energy • The Earth has limited supplies of coal and oil. Nuclear power plants could still produce electricity after coal and oil become scarce. • Coal and oil burning plants pollute the air. Well-operated nuclear power plants do not release contaminants into the environment.
Advantages (cont) • The biggest advantage of this energy is that there is no release of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, chlorofluorocarbon) during nuclear reaction. The greenhouse gases are a major threat in the current scenario, as they cause global warming and climate change. As there is no emission of these gases during nuclear reaction, there is very little effect on the environment
Disadvantages of Nuclear Energy The nations of the world now have more than enough nuclear bombs to kill every person on Earth. The two most powerful nations -- Russia and the United States -- have about 50,000 nuclear weapons between them. What if there were to be a nuclear war? What if terrorists got their hands on nuclear weapons? Or what if nuclear weapons were launched by accident? • Nuclear explosions produce radiation. The nuclear radiation harms the cells of the body which can make people sick or even kill them. Illness can strike people years after their exposure to nuclear radiation. • Nuclear reactors also have waste disposal problems. Reactors produce nuclear waste products which emit dangerous radiation. Because they could kill people who touch them, they cannot be thrown away like ordinary garbage. Currently, many nuclear wastes are stored in special cooling pools at the nuclear reactors.
Disadvantages of Nuclear Energy • This energy can be used for production and proliferation of nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons make use of fission, fusion or combination of both reactions for destructive purposes. They are a major threat to the world as they can cause a large-scale devastation.
The Future of Nuclear Energy • Some people think that nuclear energy is here to stay and we must learn to live with it. Others say that we should get rid of all nuclear weapons and power plants. Both sides have their cases as there are advantages and disadvantages to nuclear energy. Still others have opinions that fall somewhere in between.