- Entries A-Z
- Subject index
Nuclear power includes the production of power through the process of nuclear fission. Through fission, or the splitting of atoms, this energy is released (partially in the form of heat and light). When this energy is harnessed, it may be used for nuclear power. Controversies surrounding nuclear power include public concern over health hazards, environmental degradation, and national security.
Building on a series of important experiments throughout the nineteenth century, scientists began to unlock the mysteries of the atom. In 1938 scientists Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner demonstrated that uranium was a fissile material, by bombarding it with a neutron, resulting in nuclear fission. Just a few years later in Chicago, scientists Enrico Fermi and Leo Szilard helped to create the first man-made reactor known as ...