The History and Use of Nuclear Energy

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About this sample


Words: 881 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Sep 12, 2018

Words: 881|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Sep 12, 2018

Energy is used in different ways, and there are different types of energy. Nuclear energy was researched for years, has complicated methods of making energy, and has advantages and disadvantages. It is very valuable, because a small amount of uranium (common source of nuclear energy) can make great amount of energy. Nuclear is also sustainable, according to Bernard L. Cohen. As long as the sun’s there the uranium could last a long time (Is Nuclear Energy Renewable Energy?).

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Everything is made up of atoms and has at its center of nucleus that’s surrounded by electrons. This nucleus could be released or joined together by the processes called fission and fusion. Fission is the splitting of atoms into smaller ones called fission products. To split an atom, it has to be hit at its nucleus. The fission product would then hit another atom, which could cause a chain reaction. An example of this process is U-235 -> Ba-141 + kr- 92. Fusion is the combining of two atoms together to make the element heavier. This reaction releases more energy than fission while producing less radiation.

An example of this process is H-2 + H-2 -> He-4 (Touran).

Nuclear energy works through the atoms that moves around and creates a large uncontrollable force that can’t be controlled unless something will control the reaction. An example for work is a nuclear bomb, the particles will move a lot and create a huge amount of force which makes it explode.

In the very beginning of nuclear energy, in 1896, French physicist Antoine-Henri Becquerel known as the “father of nuclear energy”, found that uranium salt is produced radiation from an unknown source, which was called radioactivity. He found it out by recklessly leaving the uranium salt on photographic plates, as a result, the salt absorbed the sun’s energy. In 1898, Pierre and Marie Curie discovered polonium, which was higher than the uranium’s activity. In further investigations for Pierre and Marie Curie, Fredrick Juliot and Irene Curie worked on the artificial uses of the energy (Dr.PhysicsA). At the same time, Rutherford and Soddy discovered the radioactive decay (alpha, beta, and gamma rays) that was emitted radiation from uranium and other heavy elements. In 1938, fission was discovered in the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, and fusion was discovered in 1929 by Robert d’Escourt Atkinson and Friedrich George (Nuclear Reaction).

The Manhattan project was the first use of nuclear energy. In 1939, Albert Einstein advised U.S. President Roosavelt to develop the atomic bomb. He explained the research about the nuclear chain that would release large amounts of energy. He told Roosevelt the need of a large amount of uranium and sped up the research because the Germans were working on it too. Between 1940 and 1941, Glen Seaborg discovered the artificial element called plutonium-239, which was used for atomic bomb. In December 2, 1942, a group of European nuclear physicists working together with an Italian named Enrico Fermi created the first nuclear chain reaction called the Chicago Pile (CP-1). It was called that because was tested in the grandstand football stadium at the University of Chicago. A plutonium bomb was tested which was in the desert of Alamorgodo. After all of the research and testing, the first nuclear bomb that was used for destruction was called “Little Boy” and contained two masses of U-235. In August 6, 1945, Little Boy was dropped in Hiroshima. The second atomic bomb was called “Fatman” and was made up of plutonium. This was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. After the nuclear power in WW II, during the Marshal plan in 1953, the first nuclear submarine was made called, Nautilus (Nuclear Reaction).

Nuclear energy has been transported to thermal energy to produce electricity in nuclear power plants. The thermal energy from the nuclear would then heat the water to turn the turbine and make the generator work which would make electricity. It can also make electricity through light. The sun already has nuclear reaction happening in it that produces a very hot light. This could turn into electricity by using the solar power that turns light into electricity.

Using nuclear energy can have both advantages and disadvantages. People say that the air would be cleaner because nuclear energy doesn’t produce greenhouse gasses. This was proven wrong, for it actually harms human lives.Nuclear energy is very dangerous, especially when it can’t be controlled properly, or when it emits too much radioactive waste and causes radioactive pollution, This could put people’s health in danger; contaminate air, water and soil; could be radioactive for 100,000 years (Protecting the environment).

Nuclear energy can affect human health though radiation poisoning, because the radiation breaks DNA strand; it can also cause cancer. When the person is exposed to 0.35 Gy, they’ll feel nausea, vomiting, headache, fatigue, and fever. 1-4 Gy would make the blood cells die; in this stage the immune system would weaken and the blood could be uncontrollable. 4-8 gy can cause death after 2 weeks without treatment, and 30 Gy would kill the person within 48 hours (condliffe).

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In conclusion, nuclear energy is very useful but dangerous if it isn't controlled well. This energy has created very destructive weapons that could contaminate a place for years. It has the potential to destroy nature, but it can also save human lives through electricity, medical equipments and mechanical equipments.

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The History and Use of Nuclear Energy. (2018, July 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 18, 2024, from
“The History and Use of Nuclear Energy.” GradesFixer, 13 Jul. 2018,
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