nuclear energy and Uranium |
Tran Kim Tung |
Chemistry 2A |
Keri Clemens |
Coal, oil and gas are some nonrenewable resources. Their amounts are limited, but the bigger problem that we need to concern about them is environmental impacts. By burning these fuels, we are also burning our environment. The challenge we have is figuring out the better way to produce energy. Uranium may become one of the most efficient fuels for producing electricity in the next 100 years. When I said that, it doesn’t mean uranium is a perfect fuel for our future. We still face with many problems while using nuclear energy such as the super advantage technology and extremely safe condition. Nowadays, people understand a part of nuclear energy and how to control it.
This research paper presents the basic knowledge about nuclear energy and its main fuel, Uranium.
Nuclear Energy and Uranium
The evidences that the Earth is warming at a faster rate are gaining more and more than before. Those make a huge pressure to many governments and environmentalists to replace power sources that emit carbon dioxide with those that do not. It brings a second look to nuclear energy after the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl disaster. It brought the danger associated with nuclear power to everyone’s attention. With the advantage of modern technology, nuclear power is a ready solution to the problem of electricity production without carbon emissions.
... are still inferior to nuclear power plants. Another benefit of nuclear energy is that it is more abundant than fuel or petroleum, so it ... transport the coal on. This makes nuclear energy especially vital in bad conditions. While Nuclear plants use uranium to function, coal plants have ... are many positives of using nuclear energy, it has its share of negatives as well. The first problem comes to us in ...
First of all, we need to understand what nuclear energy is and how we can use its power. Nuclear energy is energy in the nucleus of an atom (Uranium nuclear Basics).
There is enormous energy in the bonds that hold atoms together. Nuclear energy can be released from atoms in two ways: nuclear fusion and nuclear fission. In nuclear fission, atoms are split apart to form smaller atoms, releasing energy, often producing free neutrons and photons (in the form of gamma rays), as well (Nuclear fission).
Nuclear power plants use this energy to produce electricity. The United States produces the most nuclear energy; with nuclear power providing 19% of the electricity it consumes (Summary status for the US).
Uranium is the main fuel used by nuclear power plants. It is nonrenewable, though it is a common metal found in rocks all over the world. Nuclear plants use a certain kind of uranium, referred to as U-235. This kind of uranium is used as fuel because its atoms are easily split apart (Uranium nuclear Basics).
The other reason is its common. Uranium is about 100 times more common than silver. “Natural” uranium as found in the earth’s crust is a mixture largely of two isotopes: uranium-238 (U-238), accounting for 99.3%, and U-235, about 0.7% (Balat, 2007).
The isotope U-235 is more important than the others because under certain conditions it can readily be split, yielding a significant amount of energy. In a nuclear reactor, the uranium fuel is assembled in such a way that a controlled fission chain reaction can be achieved. The heat created by splitting the U-235 atoms is then used to make steam, which spins a turbine to drive a generator, producing electricity (WNA, 2006).
In a schematic nuclear fission chain reaction, a uranium-235 atom absorbs a neutron and fissions into two new atoms, releasing three new neutrons and some binding energy. One of those neutrons is absorbed by an atom of uranium-238 and does not continue the reaction. Another neutron is simply lost and does not collide with anything, also not continuing the reaction. However, one neutron does collide with an atom of uranium-235, which then fissions and releases two neutrons and some binding energy. Both of those neutrons collide with uranium-235 atoms, each of which fissions and releases between one and three neutrons, which can then continue the reaction.
The sun and stars are seemingly inexhaustible sources of energy. That energy is the result of nuclear reactions, in which matter is converted to energy. We have been able to harness that mechanism and regularly use it to generate power. Presently, nuclear energy provides for approximately 16% of the world's electricity. Unlike the stars, the nuclear reactors that we have today work on the ...
Nuclear energy is a clean energy like hydropower, wind energy, geothermal energy, and hydrogen energy. Nuclear energy provides 16% of the world’s electricity. In 2004, production was 2,758 TWh ~ 3 x 1015 kWh. Although nuclear power dominates electricity generation in several countries, the prospects of nuclear power are clouded by the ongoing controversy about its economic necessity, operating safety, waste disposal, and proliferation risk.
Balat M. 2007 .The role of nuclear power in Global Electricity Generation. Energy Sources, Part B, 2:381–390, 2007
Comby, B. 2001. Environmentalists for nuclear energy. 26th Annual Symposium of the World Nuclear Association, London, September 5–7.
“Nuclear fission” Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_fission
“Summary status for the US”. Energy Information Administration. 2010-01-21. http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epa/epates.html. Retrieved 2010-02-18.
“Uranium nuclear Basics” Nonrenewable Energy Sources U.S. Energy Information Administration
WNA (World Nuclear Association).
2005. Nuclear Power Reactors. London: The World Nuclear Association.
Available on-line at: www.phys.appstate.edu/Nuclear_Power_Reactors.pdf
After this project, what I learnt was beyond what I was concerned. I found many basic answers for those questions like where its energy comes from and how we can use it. Briefly, its energy is simply from the energy that atoms hold together and this energy steams water, makes the turbine run, and generate electricity. I also learnt about its safety condition and how it can damage our cell.
Is wind power green? Wind power, considered a ‘green energy’, has generally less negative effects on the environment; however, various implementations can have devastating ecological impact and ought to be avoided. Only with a realistic and critical analysis can we compare wind power to other sources. II. Wind power compared to other sources of power (Independent of environmental ...