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Nuclear Energy

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Last updated date: 23rd Jul 2024
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What is Nuclear Energy?

The nuclear energy definition states that it is a non-renewable energy source that is derived from the nucleus of atoms. The nuclear energy source comes with zero emissions and it provides electricity all around the clock and propels our society into the future. It’s not new. It’s now. It’s nuclear. So, why do we call it nuclear electricity? Nuclear energy is derived by splitting atoms in a reactor to heat water into steam, turn a turbine and generate electricity, and we call nuclear energy, nuclear electricity. 

Uses of nuclear energy offer many advantages as the emissions-free workhorse of our energy grid. Its unique value cannot be matched with any other energy source. This page focuses on nuclear energy’s meaning in our present life and in the future. Along with this, we will go through various nuclear energy examples and their benefits. From our above text, we understand what is nuclear energy; now, let us understand the benefits of nuclear energy.

What are the Benefits of Nuclear Energy in Today’s World?

Below, you will find the importance of nuclear energy in today’s world:

  1. Nuclear Energy Protects National Security

To save the world from the influence of nuclear energy, the U.S. leadership is looking for safety and nonproliferation standards globally to build a resilient electrical grid at home, as an alternative to the nuclear power source.

  1. Nuclear Energy Fights: Indicator of Climate Variation

Nuclear energy presents a huge amount of 24/7 carbon-free electricity, now that's unique in protecting the environment.

  1. Nuclear Energy Ensures U.s. Leadership in Technology

The U.S. developed nuclear energy for the world and, with persisting leadership, can respond to increasing clean energy demand worldwide with advanced reactors.

  1. Nuclear Energy Produces Electricity Reliably

Never-ending electricity is a must for our nation to flourish in the 21st century. Clean, reliable nuclear energy is a core part of U.S. infrastructure as it runs nonstop for 18-24 months at a time.

  1. Nuclear Energy Generates Jobs

Nuclear energy presents more than 100,000 well-paid, long-term jobs and helps local economies with millions of dollars in-country and local tax revenues.

  1. Nuclear Energy Protects Our Air

Nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, particulates rely on, and mercury - all the things you don’t need in the air you breathe. Nuclear energy offers power 24/7 without an uncovering of those pollutants.

  1. Nuclear Uplifts Global Development

Nuclear energy allows developing nations to meet sustainable development goals. Nuclear power electric vehicles. Electrified transportation guarantees to reduce carbon emissions. When powered by carbon-free nuclear energy, electric-powered automobiles can attain their full potential.

Now, let us gather some more nuclear energy information on its usage. 


Uses of Nuclear Energy

There are a number of uses of nuclear technology further to developing electricity. These stretch from agriculture to medical, and space research to water desalination. Some of the uses of nuclear energy are as follows:

  1. Agriculture and Food

In many parts of the arena, agricultural workers use radiation to prevent harmful insects from reproducing. When insects can't have offspring, there are fewer of them. Reducing the number of pests and insects protects crops, providing the world with more food.

Radiation additionally kills microorganisms and different dangerous organisms in food. This sort of sterilization occurs without making food radioactive or drastically affecting the nutritional value. In fact, irradiation is the simplest manner to kill microorganisms in raw and frozen foods effectively.

  1. Medical

Nuclear technology offers images inside the human body and might assist to treat disease. For example, nuclear studies have allowed doctors to predict precisely the quantity of radiation required to kill cancer tumours without damaging healthy cells.

Hospitals sterilize medical systems with gamma rays safely and inexpensively. Items sterilized by radiation encompass syringes, burn dressings, surgical gloves, and heart valves.

  1. Space Exploration

Nuclear technology makes deep space exploration possible. The generators in unmanned spacecraft use the heat from plutonium to generate electricity and might operate unattended for years. This reliable, long-term source of electricity powers these spacecraft, while they venture deep into space. The Nuclear Energy Institute notes that Voyager 1, which was launched in 1977 to examine the outer solar system, is still transmitting data today.

  1. Water Desalination

The World Nuclear Association notes that one-fifth of the arena’s populace does not acquire safe drinking water and that number is anticipated to grow. Nuclear generation can play an essential position in overcoming this challenge.

Water desalination is the process of eradicating salt from saltwater to make the water potable. However, this method requires a lot of energy. Nuclear energy facilities can offer the massive quantity of energy that desalination plants need to offer fresh drinking water.

Other than nuclear energy definition, nuclear energy is of two types that we will discuss below.

Types of Nuclear Processes

There are two basic types of nuclear energy processes regarded for energy production: fission and fusion. 

  • Fission is the energetic division of large atoms such as Uranium or Plutonium into two smaller atoms, called fission products. To divide an atom, we need to hit it with a neutron. Please note that fission is a zero-emission clean energy source.

A chain of nuclear fission is as follows:

 n + 235U92   →  142Ba56  +  91Kr36 + 3n n + 235 U92142 Ba56 + 91Kr36 + 3 n 

  • Fusion is just the reverse of fission, it is the combination or merger of two or smaller atoms to form a big atom. An example of nuclear fusion is as follows:

Example: The temperature at the sun's core is approximately 15 million degrees Celsius. At this temperature, together with very high pressure, two isotopes of hydrogen, deuterium, and tritium, fuse to form helium and discharge a huge quantity of energy in the form of heat, which is one of the well-known examples of nuclear fusion.

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So, these were all types of nuclear energy, now, let us understand nuclear reactions.

Types of Nuclear Reactions

  1. Inelastic Scattering: This process happens only when a transfer of energy occurs. It occurs over threshold energy. i.e.,  Et=A+1A1,  where  Et is known as the inelastic threshold energy and ε1 is the energy of the first excited state.

  2. Elastic Scattering: This process takes place when there is energy transfer between a particle and intended nuclei. It is the most crucial process for slowing down neutrons. In the case of an elastic disperse, the total kinetic energy of any system is conserved.

  3. Transfer Reactions: The absorption of a particle subsequent to a discharge of 1 or 2 particles is referred to as transfer reactions.

  4. Capture Reactions: When nuclei obtain neutral or charged particles subsequently by the release of -rays, it is called capture reactions. Radioactive nuclides are generated by neutron capture reactions.

Facts About Nuclear Energy

  1. Below is the list of nuclear energy examples:

  • Nuclear technology

  • Nuclear medicine

  • Nuclear technology is used in industries

  • Agricultural uses of nuclear technology

  • Environmental uses of nuclear technology

  • Biological experimentations

  • Medical diagnosis and treatments

  • Scientific investigations

  • Engineering projects

  • Neutron Activation Analysis

  1. In the U.S., nuclear power is the major source, as it provides 52% of America's clean energy.

  2. Nuclear power plants function at full capacity more than 92% of the time in 2020 - making it the most essential energy source in America. 

  3. Nuclear energy is about 1.5 to 2 times more reliable than natural gas (57%) and coal (40%) plants, and roughly 2.5 to 3.5 times more reliable than wind (35%) and solar (25%) plants.

From our context, we understand that though nuclear power cannot substitute fossil fuel entirely and become the sole sustainable energy resource, however, it can play a significant role in decarbonising electricity generation in the future.

FAQs on Nuclear Energy

1: List some advantages of nuclear energy.

Below is the list of benefits of nuclear energy:

  • Low-cost energy source

  • Reliable energy source

  • Zero carbon emissions

  • Promising future energy supply

  • High energy density

2: What is the role of nuclear energy?

Nuclear energy safeguards air quality by generating huge amounts of carbon-free electricity. It provides power to communities in 28 U.S. states and offers many non-electric applications, ranging from the medical field to space exploration.

3: What is the use of nuclear energy in medicine?

Nuclear medicine employs radioactive materials named radiopharmaceuticals or radiotracers. Doctors usually inject this material into the human’s bloodstream or make patients swallow it or inhale it as a gas. The material deposits in the area under examination, where it gives off gamma rays, through which the doctor specifies the type of disease a patient has.