Nuclear Power for Energy and Its Impact to the Environment Research Paper

Pages: 10 (4593 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Energy  ·  Buy This Paper

Nuclear Power for Energy and Its Impact to the Environment

Louis Daleandro

History of use of nuclear energy

Production of nuclear power has a rich history of competing with various other energy-related technological sciences to rule the market. Technology of light water reactor (LWR) finally topped this struggle, which started right after the Second World War. This LWR technology is not only being used by USA at this moment but 80% of the reactors at present which are under process are also being used for the foundations of the technology which was started by USA. Ref?

People informed of emerging technologies, at one point in time knew gas graphite reactors, electricity with direct current and Stanley Steamers to be the greatest engineering technologies of all time. Ref-These technologies do not exist anymore. However, when electricity was supplied to places nearby initially from these technologies,?

, it was believed that direct current would be more beneficial because of its characteristics of being more proficient in managing the heavier and intricate processes of electricity loading. However, as the distances to supply electricity increased, the advantage was gained by alternating current. This was done because of its capability to transfer electricity at higher voltage while simultaneously using a transformer to stand-down and decrease the overall use of power., This in turn helped in decreasing the recurrence of voltage inconsistencies.

Now, after a long time direct current is being used again to transmit high voltage to vast distances. Such changes have also taken place for nuclear reactors, primarily because of the military reasons for most countries in the world. There are quite a few studies that have focused on these relevant changes of nuclear reactors that have been taking place over the past few years -For instance, studies confirm that United Kingdom and France had priorities of weapons having the capability of nuclear fission and that the driving force for the armed forces of these countries was primarily the nuclear capabilities and functions of the United States.

Perhaps the most important factor to note when talking about the changes made in nuclear reactors is the use of uranium fuel. Uranium fuel is made by uranium ore which in this case is used as raw material. United States, Australia, Nigeria, Canada, South Africa are the main countries of this resource- with reserves of between 270-2400 thousand tons in each. Various other countries have relatively low supplies of this resource, ranging between 36- 124 thousand tons in each country. Some of these countries are - India, Algeria, France, Gabon, Brazil, and Argentina. After the Cold War, some countries in the previous Soviet Bloc like Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia have also started to supply uranium in the international market.

Comparing Reactor types-

The reactors that use formerly discharged products to maintain voltage consistencies in nuclear power plant are called burn reactors while the process is called'burning'.' These burn reactors are also used to change the energy into a firmer form of an isotope, which allows these isotopes to have longer life then they would have normally. This is contrary to "breeder" reactors that are used to produce additive plutonium as opposed to consuming it. The reactors are called burners if the percentage of preliminary production of fission (breaking down of large nucleus cells into smaller parts to produce more energy simultaneously) is reduced to less than 1; if more fissile material is consumed (i.e. more than 1, than produced) they are called breeders.

This is normally referred to as the breeding or burn ratio.

Reactor technology produced by TerraPower in collaboration with Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures is called a Traveling Wave Reactor (TWR) (Fehrenbacher, 2010). TWRs do their job by strapping up the exhausted uranium and very little amounts of augmented uranium. The travelling wave reactor also has the ability to carry fission in energy that is predominantly non-fissile in nature. The energy is usually non-fissile in nature because neutrons produce energy at a very slow pace, and this energy has a very small interaction with the central part of the other isotopes, both the fissionable isotopes and the productive isotopes (Gilleland, 2010). Theoretically the TWRs could last centuries but the models which are being used now days last for around 60 years before they wear out.

TWRs can produce their own energy by a distinct area of one meter thickness. This thickness revolves around the central part of reactor and facilitates in circumventing the process of fortifying the plutonium. Furthermore, it lessens the dangers of nuclear propagation around the globe and the dangers of nuclear energy against wind, gas, oil, coal and solar energy.

Comparisons of Different types of energy sources-

Since the recent population explosion and increased deficiency of water, the usage of water has become immensely important for the consistent production of electricity as well as other uses in different industrial plants. This is why it is important to note here that U.S. Geological Survey is of the view that irrigation still uses 80% of freshwater while power produced by thermoelectricity is merely 3.3%. It is a known fact that all the heat regulated cycle plants (solar thermal, nuclear, NG, coal) need large volumes of water for condensing, as well as cooling the temperature of the boiler. Nuclear and solar plants are restricted because of deficiency of relevant burning substance and effectiveness of the source of energy respectively. Coal, on the other hand, which can burn at sky-scrapping temperatures, is more competent and requires less water for cooling (The British Wind Energy Association, 2005). Hence, the use of coal as the burning substance used in nuclear and solar plants could be the best way to not only produce the best result but also conserve the use of water.

If cycle plants are prepared on seashores then they can use seawater as a source for their electricity production and cooling requirements. This kind of place is less restricted by environmental factors like release of high temperatures. This is true because discarding high temperatures will have minimal effects on temperatures of water and no cooling towers will be needed at such sites. Furthermore, this will have no effect on the volumes of water accessible for normal use. For example there are no towers to cool at all in Nuclear power plants in countries like Japan because the position of plants is near the coast. Moreover, noteworthy water loss can be minimized by using dry system of cooling. Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station uses a more innovative cooling system i.e. sewage cooling among other methods which can be used as a great example for many states in the U.S. (The British Wind Energy Association, 2005).

Evaporation and leaching of water in the water resource is the primary ground of water use in Hydroelectricity table. The modern techniques used nowadays to generate electricity include the production of steam by blazing fossil fuel which can be used to set in steam turbine which sequentially makes an electrical generator work (The British Wind Energy Association, 2005).

As the fossil fuels are very easily transmitted from one place to another, itpermits the increased production of electricity at the place of need. Fossil fuels present in the world today are plenty in types but limited in quantity. When fossil fuels of low price will become depleted it will have major effects on energy supply and for the producers of plastics and other things. Many educated guesses have been made to find out precisely when these sources will finish. Many new kinds of fossil fuels are being explored, even though the speed with which they are being found is inadequate and the drawing out of fuels is constantly becoming problematic (The British Wind Energy Association, 2005).

The release and discharge that is produced during the process of burning fossil fuel is grave. Heavy volumes of carbon are mixed and buried underground because of fossil fuel burning which in turn leaves the ground contaminated or unsuitable for agriculture. Furthermore, this carbon when burnt gets converted into carbon dioxide, which is then released into the environment resulting in the rise of environmental concerns. CO2 released from electrical power manufacturing yearly is up to nearly 10 billion tones (The British Wind Energy Association, 2005). Global warming and increased greenhouse effect are the main consequences of increased environmental releases of CO2. Although the fossil fuel burners strongly challenge these facts with a rebuttal of how much energy can be produced and their part in the growth of industries, but there is no doubt about the relationship that exists among Global warming and raised CO2.

Of course, not all fossil fuel burnings result in the same environmental concerns. Different types of releases are produced which depend on the type of fossil fuel used and what type of technique is used to burn it. Particulate matter, Ozone, NO2, sulfur dioxide and various other gases are also released with the burning of fossil fuels. Acid rain and smog are the main consequences of the release of nitrogen and sulfur oxides.… [END OF PREVIEW]

Four Different Ordering Options:

?
Which Option Should I Choose?

1.  Buy the full, 10-page paper:  $24.68

or

2.  Buy & remove for 30 days:  $38.47

or

3.  Access all 175,000+ papers:  $41.97/mo

(Already a member?  Click to download the paper!)

or

4.  Let us write a NEW paper for you!

Ask Us to Write a New Paper
Most popular!

Environmental Science Nuclear Power Technical Summary Term Paper


Nuclear Power Thesis


Environmental Issues and Nuclear Power Essay


Leibstadt Nuclear Power Plant as of 2007 Research Proposal


Energy and the 21st Century Term Paper


View 199 other related papers  >>

Cite This Research Paper:

APA Format

Nuclear Power for Energy and Its Impact to the Environment.  (2011, May 10).  Retrieved February 16, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/nuclear-power-energy-impact-environment/6837162

MLA Format

"Nuclear Power for Energy and Its Impact to the Environment."  10 May 2011.  Web.  16 February 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/nuclear-power-energy-impact-environment/6837162>.

Chicago Format

"Nuclear Power for Energy and Its Impact to the Environment."  Essaytown.com.  May 10, 2011.  Accessed February 16, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/nuclear-power-energy-impact-environment/6837162.