• Sunday October 17,2021

Nuclear energy

We explain to you what nuclear energy is and how it is obtained. In addition, what it is for, advantages, disadvantages and some examples.

The atomic energy is safe, efficient and versatile.
  1. What is nuclear energy?

Nuclear energy or atomic energy is the result of reactions between different types of existing atoms, in particular those caused intentionally and controlled within nuclear power plants to produce electricity.

Nuclear energy usually comes from the reaction of nuclear atoms of certain isotopes of elements such as uranium (U) or hydrogen (H), which when bombarded with part Subatomic molecules allow the physics or fusion, respectively, of the atomic nuclei . This same principle applies, for military purposes, in nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

These fusion or physical reactions modify the deep structure of the atom and release huge amounts of usable caloric energy, as long as it is produced in a controlled and stable manner. With it you can boil water or other gases and mobilize turbines generating electricity, or you can simply redirect it for other purposes.

All this principle has explanation in the equations and essays of the German physicist Albert Einstein, who laid the theoretical basis for the rupture of the atom and the transformation of part of the mass of its subatomic particles in energy: E = mc 2 .

See also: Alternative Energies.

  1. How is nuclear energy obtained?

Nuclear reactions byproduce extremely unstable atoms.

Nuclear energy is usually obtained from the atomic nuclei of chemical elements such as uranium-235 ( 235 U) or the fusion of hydrogen isotopes such as deuterium-tritium ( 2 H- 3 H). Other useful elements are thorium-232, plutonium-239, strontium-90 or polonium-210.

In the case of fission, the elements are bombarded with low-speed neutrons, which by joining the nucleus destabilize the atom and forcing it to divide into isotopes of other elements and releasing massive amounts of energy, along with a shower of free neutrons. This same technique applies to the atomic bombs dropped by the United States on Japan in World War II, as the released neutrons impact other uranium atoms in a devastating chain reaction.

Instead, the fusion consists of the union of two light atomic nuclei, such as hydrogen isotopes, through extreme conditions of pressure and temperature, forcing the production of a new atom (helium-4 in this case), an energy neutron and even more amounts of energy than in the case of fission.

In both cases, nuclear reactions byproduct extremely unstable atoms, which emit different types of radiation for a certain period of time, as they emit their excess energy into the environment and eventually become harmless and ordinary elements. This is known as ionizing radiation and is a danger to all life forms.

  1. What is nuclear energy for?

The peaceful uses of nuclear energy are numerous, not only the generation of electricity, which is already of enormous importance in today's industrialized world, but also of usable and reconducible caloric energy, or mechanical energy, and even in ways of ionizing radiation that can be used to sterilize medical or surgical equipment. It is also possible to use it to propel vehicles, such as US atomic submarines.

  1. Advantages of nuclear energy

The advantages of nuclear energy are:

  • Low pollutant As long as there are no accidents and radioactive waste is properly disposed of, nuclear power plants pollute the environment less than the burning of fossil fuels.
  • Sure . Again, as long as the safety requirements are met, nuclear energy can be reliable, constant and clean.
  • Efficient . The amounts of energy released by this type of nuclear reactions are massive, compared to the amount of raw material they demand.
  • Versatile The application of radiation and other forms of nuclear energy in various areas of human knowledge, such as medicine, are important.
  1. Disadvantages of nuclear energy

Nuclear energy is dangerous for civilians and even animal life.

The disadvantages of nuclear energy are:

  • Risky In cases of accidents, such as the one with the Chernobyl nuclear reactor in the former Soviet Union, the civilian population and even animal life are at high risk of radioactive contamination .
  • Waste The radioactive by-products of nuclear power plants are difficult to handle and some have a very long half-life.
  • Expensive . The creation of nuclear power plants and the use of this technology is usually very expensive.
  1. Characteristics of nuclear energy

Broadly speaking, nuclear energy is powerful, effective, a true achievement of human dominance over physics . However, it is also a risky technology: after seeing the disasters caused by the atomic bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or the Chernobyl accident in the USSR, it is known that this type Technology represents a real danger to life on the planet as we know it.

  1. Examples of nuclear energy

A peaceful example of the use of this energy is any nuclear power plant, such as Ikata, in Japan . An example of its warlike use was the bombing of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 during World War II.

Interesting Articles

Low self-esteem

Low self-esteem

We explain what low self-esteem is, what are its causes, symptoms and characteristics. What is high self-esteem and personality. Low self-esteem prevents us from having an objective judgment regarding who we are. What is low self-esteem? When we talk about low self-esteem or lack of self-esteem, we mean a perception of ourselves that prevents us from perceiving ourselves as valuable , talented people or simply having an objective judgment as to who We are

Liquid state

Liquid state

We explain to you what the liquid state is and what are the physical characteristics of this state of matter. Examples of liquids. Water, the quintessential liquid at room temperature. What is the liquid state? It is called a liquid state (or simply liquids) to a state of matter that is considered intermediate between solidity and gas , since its particles are close enough to conserve cohesion



We explain to you what a citizen is and the evolution of this term in history. In addition, what it means to be a good citizen. People who belong to a specific nation are often talked about. What is a citizen? The concept of a citizen refers to those who exercise their citizenship , a condition that characterizes the aforementioned category of activities and that can be defined as a series of acknowledgments expressed in rights and obligations, both individual and social



We explain to you what entropy is, what is negative entropy and some examples of this degree of equilibrium of a system. The entropy says that given a sufficient period of time, the systems will tend to disorder. What is the entropy? In physics, one speaks of entropy (usually symbolized with the letter S) to refer to the degree of equilibrium of a thermodynamic system , or rather, at its level of tendency to disorder (variation of entropy)



We explain to you what nihilism is, what was the origin of this famous term and what Russian nihilism consisted of. Nihilism denies that existence has a meaningful sense of some. What is nihilism? When talking about nihilism, usually denies the denial of traditional forms of moral and religious values , or any form of thought that finds guiding principles to life

Inferential Statistics

Inferential Statistics

We explain what inferential statistics is and its different uses. In addition, examples and descriptive statistics. Inferential statistics are responsible for inferring properties, conclusions and trends. What is the inferential statistics? The branch of Statistics responsible for making deductions , that is, inferring properties, conclusions and trends, from a sample is called `` inferential statistics '' or `` statistical inference '' of the set Its role is to interpret, make projections and comparisons