Nuclear Energy Essay

Submitted By kenbarbie1
Words: 546
Pages: 3

Introduction
You may have heard of nuclear energy several times dealing with things like the atomic bomb but did you realize how effective and important it. Initially, I’ve learned that Nuclear Energy is the safest, cleanest, cheapest, and most efficient type of energy there is. Nuclear energy comes from nuclear reactions. Changes can occur in the structure of the nuclei of atom and these changes are called nuclear reactions. Energy created in a nuclear reaction is called nuclear energy, or atomic energy. Nuclear energy is actually produced naturally and in man-made operations under human contractually is. Since 1956 the prime focus of nuclear energy has been on the technological evolution of reliable nuclear power plants. Description of topic and summarized explanation of the relevant physics concepts
After reading an article from the data base, Think Quest, I found it surprising Nuclear Energy supplies about 17% of the world's electricity (1). Nuclear energy is either produced by "nuclear fission" in whereas nuclei are split to release energy. It may also be produced by "nuclear fusion" whereas small nuclei are combined to release energy (1). The atomic bomb and nuclear reactors in nuclear plants work on the principle of nuclear fission, where the element uranium is used to undergo fission (Mathis,2). I found that for a nuclear power plant to work, the uranium being employed must be supercritical, or overheated, making it prone to meltdown. To prevent nuclear meltdown, nuclear plants must be constantly monitored and employ a number of fail-safes to protect people nearby from radiation poisoning (Mathis, 2).

Discussion of the historical background of the topic or field
The history of Nuclear energy is extremely unique and interesting. Physicist Enrico Fermi discovered the potential of nuclear fission in 1934, when he bombarded uranium atoms with neutrons and was surprised to discover that the products of this reaction were much lighter than uranium (EBSCO, 1). On December 2, 1942, Fermi created the first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear reaction, using uranium and control rods in a similar configuration to how they are used today. Illustrating the power and potential of this new technology, the United…