Nuclear energy has been and continues to be highly controversial. It is an awesome way to create sustainable power but when it goes wrong, the results are truly catastrophic. While the possibility of recurrence of such accidents is small, the scale of damage to the environment and our health will be a big disaster. That is why safety and maintenance must be of the highest quality, along with the components used inside the power plants. For a Brass Ball Valve supplier of a quality that is regularly used in the nuclear industry, visit https://www.orseal.com/products/ball-valves/
But despite the risks, many of the leading economies use nuclear energy to create the majority of their power.
One of the strongest reasons for supporting nuclear energy is the country’s independence from fossil fuels. In addition, nuclear power supplies energy for a long time without polluting the air. Here are some top facts about nuclear energy:
- France is a major exporter
France produces so much electricity through nuclear power that it exports its surplus to other countries. France provides more than 70% of the nation’s electricity from nuclear energy and then exports the surplus to Italy, Britain, Spain, Switzerland and Belgium.
- The United States disposes of a lot of nuclear power
Nuclear energy produces about 20% of the electricity used by the United States. In 2016, US nuclear power plants produced more than 800 billion kWh of electricity, which was twice that of France produced, but the US also dumped 25-40% of all electricity produced through inefficient use.
The production of electricity that uses nuclear energy emits greenhouse gases in amounts comparable to wind energy, hydroelectric power or that derived from biomass. Solar energy releases three times more greenhouse gas emissions than nuclear energy. This means that nuclear energy is better for the climate than fossil fuel power. Coal releases even more emissions, as much as 30 times that of nuclear.
- Uranium is named after the planet Uranus
Discovered in 1789 by a chemist from Germany called Martin Klaproth, he was studying mineral samples from around the world. After that discovery, Klaproth named it after the planet Uranus.
- Not all nuclear reactors produce electricity
There are around 447 large commercial nuclear reactors operating today with 60 more under construction and 160 planned. Interestingly, not all of these reactors produce electricity, much of which is actually used for scientific research, or medical isotope production.
- Energy trapped in atoms
Nuclear phases occur when an atom splits into two parts and then releases energy. The reaction can occur through either natural decay or in a controlled laboratory setting. Nuclear energy plants use energy by splitting atomic nuclei under strictly controlled conditions, whereas nuclear weapons function on the concept of uncontrolled nuclear fission.
- Energy found even in the Sun.
Nuclear energy can be produced through fission (atomic separation) or through fusion (the union of atoms together). Nuclear fusion continues in the sun, when hydrogen atoms combine to produce helium. However, nuclear fission is a process that occurs in nuclear reactors.
- Nearly half of the world’s uranium is found in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan has 50 extensive uranium deposits. Nearly 40% of the world’s supply of uranium in 2016 came from this landlocked country. And this country has been one of the world’s leading suppliers of uranium for the past 50 years.