There are two main categories of nuclear energy. These are nuclear fission and nuclear fusion. Currently we only use nuclear fission for commercial, industrial, medical, and energy production which offers less energy output when compared to nuclear fusion. Nuclear fusion has been accomplished in laboratory settings but requires a tremendous initial energy cost to start the reaction which is why we haven’t been able to bring this technology out of research settings. However, one example of nuclear fusion that is all around us is stars.
|Nuclear Fusion||Nuclear Fission|
For more information on these two forms of nuclear energy visit our how nuclear energy works page.
Nuclear energy is a very common term used in today’s society. It is a magnificent thing that could really improve the world, but it could also be the cause for mass destruction. A lot of people have no idea what nuclear energy is. Many also do not know where nuclear energy comes from. However, this form of energy is a treasure to many. Here are some of the many nuclear energy examples you’ll find in the world.
|Power PlantsNuclear power plants are the most visible source of nuclear energy. There are over four hundred power plants worldwide, which function off of nuclear reactors. The reactors hold the reaction that is produced by nuclear fission. This gives off heat which is in turn used to generate electricity. Over twenty percent of the United States power is generated by power plants.|
|SubmarinesNuclear submarines are a valued treasure of many world navies, even though submarines have been used since the Cold War. Nuclear submarines run off of a nuclear reactor, which provides a great deal of power for a much longer time than fossil fuels. As an added bonus, these submarines run quietly because no sound is generated by nuclear fission.|
|WeaponsNuclear energy is not always benign. Nuclear warheads still remain a threat worldwide. These weapons can be one hundred times more destructive than atomic bombs, and also have the capability to demolish cities and kill thousands of people. In addition to nuclear warheads depleted uranium ammunition has become a mainstay in the modern military due to its penetration capabilities.|
|Radiation TherapyOne of the more modern, and common, uses for nuclear energy is cancer treatment. Cancer is essentially caused by cells that won’t undergo regular cell death (apoptosis) so radiation therapy is used in an attempt to kill cancer cells. However, healthy cells are similarly affected.|
|Food ProcessingIt has become very common to expose foods to small amounts of nuclear radiation of part of the processing routine. Radiation kills micro-organisms, bacteria, and other deadly things that could be in your food before it has been packaged.|
|Stars solar energy is nuclear energy.Some of the nuclear energy that is produced is done so naturally. Stars, such as the sun, make light and heat by nuclear reactions particularly nuclear fusion. In this way the source of|