• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Nuclear power is generated by nuclear fission when sufficient amounts of uranium-235 and/or plutonium are confined to a small space, often in the presence of a neutron moderator. The nuclear reactions produce heat, which is converted to kinetic energy by a steam turbine and then a generator for electricity. In 2005, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported more than 440 commercial nuclear power plants in the world, generating approximately 365 GW. Nuclear power proponents highlight the amount of electricity that can be generated with a relatively smaller carbon footprint (amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere) than coal or oil, but opponents argue that the uncertainties and risks associated with operating nuclear plants and disposing of spent nuclear material outweigh the benefits of nuclear-generated ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles