Nuclear fission is being used in nuclear power plants to generate substantial amounts of power. However, it is not a renewable resource and uranium supplies will ultimately be depleted.
Some people find nuclear power plants to be highly frightening and consider
them dangerous. They think that in the event of an accident, natural disaster, or social upheaval, a major catastrophe could result.
However, physicist Bernard L. Cohen argues that "nuclear power is perceived to be thousands of times more dangerous than it is…I am personally convinced that citizens of the distant future will look upon it as one of God's greatest gifts to humanity."
Nuclear fission was fist developed in World War II to make atomic bombs. After the war, nuclear
power was promoted as being an extremely clean and safe energy source that would serve as the system of the future.
Despite early optimism, nuclear fission has not fulfilled early expectations. It has been popular in some countries, such as Japan, with great energy needs but few energy resources.
Some countries have decided not to use nuclear power because of the dangers associated with it. Accidents such as the one at Chernobyl have convinced some countries that nuclear power is not worth the risks.
The fission process works through the splitting of atoms such as uranium-235 and plutonium-239. The split releases large amounts of energy, generating a chain reaction that releases an enormous amount of power.
FAQ on nuclear energy
Nuclear energy Web resources
Power plant simulation