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Nuclear Energy: Frequently Asked Questions

What it is the Nuclear Energy?

To the energy associated with the modifications of the constitution of the nucleus of an atom is given to the generic name of nuclear energy. This energy can be freed during a process of radioactive disintegration or freed or absorbed during a nuclear reaction ( more information ).
When atoms split, large amounts of energy called nuclear energy are released in the form of heat.
Nuclear energy is the product of powerful forces that hold together protons and neutrons, the building blocks of the atom's nucleus. Some large nuclei can split into two smaller nuclei when they are hit by a neutron, releasing some of that energy in the form of a strong burst of heat. During this reaction, called fission, two or three neutrons and radiation are released. Nuclear reactors use fission energy. ...
It is the energy released when the fission of atoms occurs. In a nuclear reactor it occurs in a multiplying sequence known as "chain reaction".

Why nuclear energy?

Availability of electricity is an essential requirement for industrial development. There exists a large gap between the electricity requirement and the actual generation in India. For sustaining the projected industrial/economic growth, the country needs electricity of all kinds, i.e., thermal (coal, gas), hydro, nuclear, wind, solar, etc., etc. However, keeping the pollution and global warming concerns in mind, one has to choose non-fusil fuel based power plants and work on renewable energy resources. ...

What are these "user friendly nuclear energy modules"?

Take a closer look at Captain's Log, 071101. It is entitled "Hannah Brown, 2034". This is George's style of creative writing, and was a spoof about living in the year 2034 and still on Hannah Brown ... entirely "tongue in cheek" (I think that is the term), but it seems to have gone over most people's heads.

What are the costs to the consumer of nuclear energy?

Professor Steve Thomas: Governments typically claim to follow the ‘polluter pays' principle, which would imply that consumers of nuclear electricity should pay all the costs listed above. In practice, when things go wrong with nuclear power, costs are passed on to taxpayers (the government has to pay costs that the companies can't meet) or, worse still, costs are passed on to future taxpayers. ...

What is the WNA Nuclear Energy Index?

The WNA Nuclear Energy Index is designed to track the performance of approximately 65 companies engaged in the nuclear energy industry with representation across reactors, utilities, construction, technology, equipment, service providers and fuels.

What is the importance of nuclear energy in India?

India is at a much lower fraction where nuclear energy accounts for 3.7% of electricity generation. India today has 15 nuclear reactors with an installed capacity of 3,310 MW. There are plans to go to 20,000 MW by 2020. For a comparison, China has set a target of 40,000 MW by 2020. Over many decades, India has periodically made ambitious plans of dramatically increasing nuclear generation. But these plans have not materialised, despite massive expenditures. ...

When will renewable energy replace coal and nuclear power plants?

Right now, at least in North America, nuclear and fossil-fuel-based energy is still quite inexpensive compared to solar and wind energy. However, the price of fossil fuels is continuing to rise and the price of solar and renewable energy continues to decline. Peak oil production is right around the corner, and people are increasing their demand for clean energies. In Japan, Germany and some developing countries, renewable energies are already competitive due to a number of market forces. ...

What nuclear reactor will be used at the Idaho Energy Complex?

We will use advanced-design nuclear reactor. This reactor is considered ‘dry,’ meaning it requires far less cooling water than any other nuclear power plant in the United States, and it features the industry’s highest standards in safety and reliability.

How long has Progress Energy operated nuclear plants?

Progress Energy has safely operated nuclear power plants for more than 30 years. The company (through predecessor Carolina Power & Light) built the first commercial nuclear reactor in the Southeast, the H.B. Robinson Plant. The plant went into commercial operation in 1971 and remains among the top-performing plants in the industry. The Brunswick units and the Crystal River Nuclear Plant went into commercial operation in the mid-1970s. ...

How does Progress Energy manage nuclear waste?

Progress Energy currently uses wet storage pools and dry storage canisters to store nuclear spent fuel. The company has managed used nuclear fuel and other nuclear waste byproducts safely and efficiently for more than 30 years. To date, no permanent used fuel disposal exists because the U.S. government has not fulfilled its commitment to open and operate a permanent spent-fuel repository. ...

How many nuclear plants does Progress Energy operate?

Progress Energy operates five reactors at four nuclear plant sites - the two-unit Brunswick Nuclear Plant near Southport, N.C.; the Crystal River Nuclear Plant near Crystal River, Fla.; the Harris Nuclear Plant near New Hill, N.C.; and the Robinson Nuclear Plant near Hartsville, S.C. Together, they are capable of generating more than 4,300 megawatts of safe, reliable and efficient electricity.

How will Progress Energy pay for a new nuclear unit?

At this point, the company has not made a decision to build any new baseload units, nor will the company move forward unless we think it is the right decision to ensure value for our customers and shareholders.

How long has nuclear energy been used in the U.S.?

Nuclear energy has been used since 1953 to power U.S. Navy vessels, and since 1955 to provide electricity to homes and businesses. The Navy currently has 11 nuclear-powered surface ships and 98 nuclear-powered submarines; each submarine can travel one million miles, or more than 25 years, without refueling.

What makes nuclear power the 'clean air' energy?

Nuclear power plants do not pollute the air or produce greenhouse gases. The 442 nuclear reactors worldwide reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 500 million metric tons each year. In the United States, nuclear plants reduced total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 189 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2002. A fact sheet with more information is available here.
Nuclear power plants do not pollute the air or produce greenhouse gases. The 441 nuclear reactors worldwide reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 500 million metric tons each year. In the United States, nuclear plants reduced total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 189 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2002. A fact sheet with more information is available here .

How important is nuclear energy to UK energy policy?

Nuclear energy is a secure, large-scale electricity supplier. It provides diversity in line with Government’s energy policy objectives.

What portion of FPL Energy’s portfolio does nuclear energy generate represent?

Nuclear energy accounts for approximately 16 percent of FPL Energy’s total portfolio.

Would it be cheaper or easier to switch to nuclear energy than to renewable energy?

Aside from being a massive security risk, nuclear energy is an expensive option for providing energy and would take many years to develop. What’s more, because of the enormous greenhouse footprint in mining and transporting uranium, building and decommissioning nuclear plants, the overall reductions in greenhouse emissions are a fraction of what we can achieve by using renewable energy. Renewables are ready to go now, don’t rely on a fuel source (except for biomass), and can produce large-scale baseload energy.

What portion of NextEra Energy Resources' portfolio does nuclear energy generation represent?

Nuclear energy accounts for approximately 16 percent of NextEra Energy Resources total portfolio.

Is nuclear energy the same as atomic energy?

The terms atomic energy and nuclear energy are synonymous and define the same concept. The reason for the double name is historical. There are some countries that we could call “pioneers” in research on the energy emitted by radioactive bodies, and other countries that are “users” of this energy. ...

How much can nuclear energy contribute to our energy needs?

Even if we decide to invest heavily in nuclear energy, its contribution to our total energy needs is of limited importance. India has installed capacity of 143,000 MW currently and is slated to raise this to 700,000 to 800,000 MW by 2032. Coal currently meets about 66% of our electricity generation. In this nuclear energy is only 3% of current capacity electricity generating capacity and will at best reach a figure of 8% by 2032. ...

How are nuclear materials for the nuclear energy industry transported in the UK?

The transport of radioactive materials in the UK is strictly governed by internationally agreed transport regulations published by the International Atomic Energy Agency, (a United Nations Agency). Spent fuel from UK power stations is transported in very carefully designed safe flasks by rail. Spent fuel from overseas is carried by specially equipped ships. As with rail transport, safety is paramount and the ships are equipped and manned to very high standards.

Does nuclear energy development automatically lead to nuclear weapons know-how?

To demonstrate that it has no interest in pursuing nuclear weapons, the UAE has renounced the development of domestic uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing capabilities in favor of relying on external fuel supply arrangements. By foregoing the development of these technologies, the UAE has made it impossible for any future UAE nuclear sector to produce weapons-usable nuclear material, thus severing the principle link between civil nuclear energy and nuclear weapons development. ...

What are the fuels used to produce nuclear energy ?

Naturally occurring uranium contains 0.71% of the isotope U -235, the rest mainly being the isotope U -238. Of all the naturally occurring materials only the rare isotope U -235 can sustain а fission chain reaction and is called fissile material. Other fissile materials, which can fuel nuclear reactors, are plutonium and U -233. These latter materials are man-made and do not occur in nature. ...

Is nuclear power competitive with other sources of energy?

This is difficult to answer as, in the short term, the cost of energy varies with fluctuations in supply and demand. A few years ago the price of a barrel of oil was $10 and this year it has been as high as $70. Two authoritative studies by the Royal Academy of Engineering and the World Nuclear Association have compared the price of generating electricity from nuclear power with other sources of energy. ...

What is the environmental and health value of nuclear energy today?

Today's 103 operating nuclear plants within the U.S. have tremendous environmental and health value. Nuclear is the only way to generate large volumes of electric power consistently at low cost without polluting the air. While we need all the renewable energy we can get, solar and windmills cannot produce power on a large scale to meet our economy's needs. Fossil plants, such as coal- and natural gas-fired, in most instances cost more and produce air pollutants, including carbon dioxide. ...

How important is nuclear energy as a source of elecricity?

Globally, nuclear energy accounts for 16% of electricity generation. But there are some countries which have intensively shifted to nuclear, such as Lithuania (80% of generation is nuclear) and France (78% of generation is nuclear).
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