Nuclear energy

The only source of energy that fueled our civilization until this century was solar energy stored as chemical energy through photosynthesis, in renewable sources (wood, water, wind) or fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas ) whose constant training is millions of years.

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We could say, shovel mistakes too much as in terms of energy we were “slaves of the Sun” and it is no wonder that people in ancient times made the Sun one of the main gods of primitive religions.

One of the main problems the solution of which depends on the development of our civilization, the issue is back on the plan of concerns in recent years is providing the energy needed to develop basic activities which conditions progressive evolution of the living standard of the population Globe. Amount of ​​energy consumed by mankind has increased since primitive times so far, 2.5 million times .is obvious that such an increase can not be can not lead to a problem of the energy needed for the future development of mankind .

As I said not long ago I was “slaves of the sun”, but I step towards emancipation was made by physicist Becqerel on February 26. In 1898 when he left some photographic plates exposed to light near a uranium ore. developandu discovers them blackened, as if it were exposed to light Hence, he concluded that uranium emits radiation ore unknown. Together, these three researchers received the Nobel Prize for physics in 1903. Identifying and researching this radiation begins to be interested researchers.

So at the beginning of our century Ruthefort and his pupils, Chadwick Walton Cockfroft and investigated the properties of nuclei using artificially accelerated particles larger than the kinetic energy of the radiation emitted by radioactive substances.

The merger underlies obtaining nuclear energy. This process consists of absorption of a neutron by an atomic nucleus large as that of uranium, which will become unstable. He breaks into several fragments, releasing high heat, which strongly accelerates resulting fragments that reach very high speeds. Due to their high speed, these fragments can penetrate behind fission in turn into other atoms, which cause other fissions.

In 1990 there were 435 nuclear power plants operating acoperind1% of global energy.

In a nuclear reactor heat is obtained by radioactive decay of uranium-235 atoms. This is used to produce steam that moves the turbine rotor, generating electricitate.U-235 is a relatively rare isotope uranium, accounting for only 7% of the total amount of uranium available. The rest is U-238 isotope. An isotope is a form of a chemical element with other isotopes identical but with different atomic mass. Like fossil fuels, uranium 235 will not last forever. There is a certain type of reactor, called reactor “growth” which transforms U-238 into another radioactive element plutonium-239. Pu-239 can be used to generate heat. So far only six countries have built such experimental centers. Of these, nuclear reactor Phenix has the most success. If this type of reactoarear become common, global uranium reserves would reach thousands of years.

Nuclear energy has many advantages. It is economic: one ton U-235 produces give even more power than 12 million barrels of oil. Eate clean during use and do not pollute the atmosphere. Unfortunately there are some drawbacks. Nuclear power plants are very expensive. Produce radioactive waste that must be stored for hundreds of years before becoming harmless. A nuclear accident like the one produced in1986 at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine, can contaminate large areas and can cause illness or death of hundreds of people.

In Right research is the discovery of new sources of energy inexhaustible. Some of them are already used.

In 1945, the principle of nuclear fission was used a device of an entirely different nature: the atomic bomb. In this case, the fission reaction is slowed; it is amplified and occurs releasing tremendous energy. The potential of this weapon was realized when on August 6, was released on Hiroshima, causing 150,000 casualties and later on Nagasaki in August PE10, recording and tens of thousands of dead there.