Is Nuclear Energy Safe? - Part 2

By Levi Anthony - Posted 4/24/2011

Nuclear power is efficient and carbon- free and is good for the environment. But it also dangerous and the danger comes from various points in the process. My science knowledge is limited but here is my understanding of the problem.

First, a little explanation on how a nuclear plant produces power.

A nuclear power station works in pretty much the same way as an oil burning station, except that a “chain reaction” inside a nuclear reactor makes the heat instead. Fuel rods are inserted in the reactor. These rods are several feet long and they contain uranium in the form of small pellets. The heat produce by the reactor is enormously hot running into thousands of degrees fahrenheit. Water is then pumped into the reactor. The intense heat transforms the water into steam. The steam is then use to drive large turbines which in turn produces electricity.

You may notice that nuclear power plants are usually located near the coast or large areas of water. This is because the process uses lots of water both to produce steam and to cool the plant.

If this didn’t help much, here is a diagram.

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