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Energy Quote

The discovery of nuclear chain reactions need not bring about the destruction of mankind any more than did the discovery of matches. We only must do everything in our power to safeguard against its abuse.

Albert Einstein

Nuclear Power

A Brief Description:

The controlled use of nuclear reactions to release energy for work including propulsion, heat, and the generation of electricity. Human use of nuclear power to do significant useful work is currently limited to nuclear fission and radioactive decay. Nuclear energy is produced when a fissile material, such as uranium-235 , is concentrated such that the natural rate of radioactive decay is accelerated in a controlled chain reaction and creates heat - which is used to boil water, produce steam, and drive a steam turbine. The turbine can be used for mechanical work and also to generate electricity. Nuclear power is used to power most military submarines and aircraft carriers and provides 7% of the world's energy and 17% of the world's electricity. The United States produces the most nuclear energy, with nuclear power providing 20% of the electricity it consumes, while France produces the highest percent of its energy from nuclear reactors - 80% as of 2006.

International research is ongoing into various safety improvements, the use of nuclear fusion and additional uses such as the generation of hydrogen, (in support of hydrogen economy schemes) for desalinating water, and for use in district heating systems.

5 Feb 2007 01:04:20

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