Nuclear energy is a controversial topic. It's been around for decades, and it differentiates itself from other forms of energy production due to its ability to generate large amounts of power without burning fossil fuels or cutting down trees.
When we burn fossil fuels or cut down trees for fuel, we release the stored energy within them. But when we use nuclear power, we create new forms of matter and release their energy.
The controversy stems from the fact that nuclear energy is also associated with severe risks. The risks are that it's a high-energy process with detrimental outcomes in the past, such as Chernobyl and Fukushima. As a result, many countries have slowly adopted it as an energy source. Today we will discuss new developments in this energy technology and what it means for our world.
What is Nuclear Energy?
Nuclear energy is misunderstood as often as it is criticized. Here's a look at the facts to help make it clear. Nuclear energy is the process of releasing energy by splitting or combining atoms, this can be achieved through Nuclear Fission or Nuclear Fusion.
In fission, an atom is split into two parts. This results in the release of heat and radiation (energy).
Nuclear fission is the division of a heavy nucleus into two lighter nuclei, and produces large amounts of heat and neutrons. These neutrons can be absorbed by other nuclei to cause further fissions as well as release more neutrons. This chain reaction leads to the production of a lot of energy from very small amounts of fuel, such as uranium or plutonium.
In fusion, two atoms are combined to form one larger atom. This also results in the release of heat and radiation (energy).
Nuclear fusion takes place when two light nuclei come together and form one larger nucleus and releases energy in the process. In nuclear fusion, two light nuclei come together and form one larger nucleus. This process releases a lot of energy in the form of heat and light. The sun and most other stars are powered by nuclear fusion.
Historical Results of Nuclear Energy (Fission)
Nuclear power plants produce energy through nuclear fission, which is the process of splitting an atom into smaller atoms. The process used to split the atoms is called a nuclear reaction.
Nuclear power plants are capable of providing base-load, reliable power on demand. With average load factors of 90% or higher, nuclear energy is an essential component of the nation’s electricity grid.
Nuclear power is a controversial energy source due to the risk of radioactive contamination and the potential for catastrophic accidents. Nuclear power plants can also create hazardous waste that needs to be safely disposed of. Nuclear power has also been linked to radiation-related illnesses and deaths. The industry has also experienced major accidents such as Fukushima and Chernobyl that have had devastating impacts around nuclear plants.
New Developments in Nuclear Energy (Fusion)
Scientists from the National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California have made a major breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion technology. Their aim was to create a controlled fusion reaction in the lab that would mimic a star, like our sun, but without the risk of explosion and dangerous amounts of radioactive waste.
Nuclear fusion produces four times more energy than nuclear fission (at equal mass), and only small amounts of short-lived radioactive waste. But one of the challenges is that forcing and keeping the elements together in fusion requires very high temperatures and pressures. Until now, no experiment has managed to produce more energy than the amount put in to make it work. This means we've taken another step towards unlocking an unlimited source of clean energy for future generations.
Our aim is to keep a pulse on all new developing technologies and offer access to our customers as soon as they emerge for distribution. We’re excited about the future of nuclear energy, and we hope that this post has given you some insight into why. Nuclear energy is still a developing technology. However, there are many reasons to think that it has a bright path ahead of it—especially as countries around the world look for sources of clean power that can meet their demands while also reducing their carbon footprint. We are committed to being on the forefront of new energy developments and offering sustainable energy solutions that meet the needs of consumers and our planet.