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The Promises and Perils of Nuclear Power
The term nuclear power refers to the production of electrical energy via controlled nuclear reactions. These reactions generate heat that, in turn, creates steam that runs the generators to produce electricity. Approximately 1/8th of the electricity produced in the world is derived from nuclear power. In this assignment, you will analyze the use of nuclear power as an energy resource.
Respond to the following:
- Discuss the scientific and technical concepts related to the use of nuclear power as an energy resource. Address the following in your response:
- How is energy released in a nuclear reaction?
- How are nuclear reactions controlled?
- What elements are involved in nuclear power production?
- What nuclear forces are involved?
- Explain the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear energy, detailing issues related to production, delivery, cost, radiation, air quality, and waste.
- Identify a country whose electricity production infrastructure relies heavily on nuclear power. Compare and contrast the use of nuclear power in the United States with the use of nuclear power in this country. Provide examples of the use of nuclear power in your community or state.
- Consider the three major nuclear accidents in the history of the industry: 3-Mile Island (USA), Chernobyl (Ukraine), and Fukushima Dai-Ichi (Japan). What lessons have been learned from these nuclear accidents that can be or have been used to make nuclear power safer?