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When dealing with the worlds present sources of energy the two most popular forms are nuclear and energy by fossil fuels How long will these supplies last Are they the most effective Is it harmful to the environment All of these questions must be addressed Below is a description of how these sources produce energyWhat exactly is nuclear energy We talk about it all the time but what is it Nuclear energy is energy that is obtained by splitting the nuclei of atoms The atoms of most elements are stable they never change Some elements however have nuclei that under certain conditions can be split up This process is known as nuclear fission When fission takes place very large amounts of energy are released Nuclear fission can only take place in nuclear power plants These plants are highly expensive The fission process takes time and must be carefully controlled If the process were to accelerate in speed a huge explosion could take place The process all begins in a reactor This is where the atoms split The reactor is equipped with control rods that are either pushed in or pulled out to keep fission under control In these reactors a heavy metal called uranium is collected There are different types of nuclear reactors The most common type called a pressurized water reactor is shown below This reactor uses water under pressure as a coolant The water is pumped through the uranium core where it absorbs the heat that is produced by fission It then passes into a steam generator where it heats the water into steam Next the steam travels to steam turbines that spin the electricity generators The energy produced by a nuclear reaction is great and can be harmful Fission produces much energy that can be used for a long time This is the process in which nuclei of atoms are turned into electricity In other words nuclear energy Another main
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