Nuclear Science

Essay by rcoopHigh School, 10th gradeA, July 2009

download word file, 8 pages 5.0 1 reviews

Whether or not Australia should start to develop nuclear power stations to generate electricity for household and industrial useDescriptionA modern society like Australia, which relies heavily on technology, has accumulated increased electrical energy consumption. Nuclear power can create electricity, without producing greenhouse gases.

Nuclear fission- in a large atom, the nucleus can be very unstable, making it susceptible to breaking apart. Atomic particles known as neutrons and energy that can be felt as heat is released when the nucleus splits. A chain reaction develops when the neutrons from one nucleus collide with nearby nuclei of atoms and split. From a small amount of radioactive material, the chain reaction creates a large amount of energy. Nuclear fusion- joining the atoms together is another way to release energy. When heated to millions of degrees, the nuclei of certain materials are fused together quickly. Huge amounts of energy are given off when this occurs.

To make electricity form nuclear power, it must be generated inside a nuclear power station. Heat is used to boil water to make steam. The steam drives a giant wheel known as a turbine. The energy of the spinning movement is changed into electricity by a generator. In a nuclear power station, heat is obtained through nuclear fission contained in nuclear fuel.

An application of nuclear power is nuclear weapons. The most common is an atomic bomb. The atomic fission of uranium and plutonium produce energy. It is made up of pieces of almost pure uranium or plutonium which are less than critical mass. Ordinary explosives drive the pieces together to make one whole that is above critical mass. The bomb explodes due to an uncontrolled chain reaction. Smoke detectors are another form of nuclear technology. There are two types of these safety devices. One detects smoke or heat...