Nuclear energy is a emerging resource that can be used in lieu of climate change-inducing fossil fuels. However, there are many unknown details about this form of energy, so here are some frequently asked questions about nuclear energy to better explain this process.
Q: What is nuclear energy?
Nuclear power plants split uranium atoms inside a reactor through a process called fission. The heat that is produced comes in the form of steam, which then spins a turbine to generate electricity.
Q: How does this form of energy compare to fossil fuels?
Nuclear energy sources are much smaller than any form of fossil fuel. One pellet of uranium, the size of a fingernail, contains the same amount of energy as 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas, 1,780 pounds of coal, of 149 gallons of oil. This makes it exceptionally cost-effective and efficient. Plus, nuclear energy does not produce any greenhouse gases.
Q: Is nuclear energy renewable?
Generally, a renewable resource uses a limitless supply of sun, wind, or water. Nuclear energy must use the element uranium, so it can be considered a somewhat sustainable energy source; there is enough uranium on our planet to fuel reactors for more than 100 years.
Q: Are there reactors worldwide?
Yes, as of right now there are more than 436 nuclear reactors in over 30 different countries. In the United States alone, there are 61.
Q: Do nuclear power plants release radioactive material?
Yes, but only in small quantities approved by the federal government. However, the plant stores this waste until the radioactivity level decreases to a safe amount so those around the plant will not be affected.
Q: How do nuclear energy plants benefit the economy?
Every dollar spent by a nuclear reactor will bring $1.04 back into the local economy, $1.18 to the state, and $1.87 to the federal economy. The industry also creates jobs with both the construction and maintaining of the plant.
Q: Why should I be investing in energy companies?
As the amount of fossil fuels becomes depleted, it is more important than ever to find other forms of energy. Investing in nuclear energy stocks and companies is a fantastic economic choice, since the need for nuclear energy will only grow from now.
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