Nuclear energy can be defined as the energy stored in the nucleus of an atom. This energy can be used to produce electricity. Nuclear energy comes from mass-to-energy conversions that occur in the splitting of atoms. It is being used in more than 30 countries around the world. It is also used to power mars exploration rovers.
This energy can be released by two different processes which are nuclear fission and nuclear fusion. Nuclear power plants use the process of nuclear fission in which an atom is split in two to produce energy. These plants use large amounts of water for steam production and cooling. These power plants are the most efficient source of electricity.
Quick Facts: –
- The world had its first nuclear reactor by 1942.
- There are approximately 100 power plants in operation in the US.
- There are about 400 commercial nuclear power plants all over the world.
- Nuclear power supplies energy for a long time without polluting the air.
- The largest producers of nuclear energy are the US, France and Japan.
- More than 20% of the US electricity is provided by nuclear power.
- France produces 72% of the country’s electricity from this method and also exports the surplus to other countries.
- Uranium-235 is used in most nuclear reactors. It is the most commonly occurring fissionable atom. It is a non-renewable resource that must be mined.
- Nuclear reactors are also used to power some military submarines and aircraft carriers.
- These reactors have controlled nuclear chain reactions that create heat.