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Nuclear power

Nuclear energy is used to produce electricity all over the world. Simply put, nuclear power generation is the harnessing of the energy created by a nuclear reaction. To produce electricity an energy source is needed to drive the huge turbines in a power station. In a nuclear power station, that energy comes from the splitting of atoms of uranium - a process known as fission.

Uranium has the highest atomic mass of all the known natural elements. It is also the most readily fissionable material, especially when it has been enriched to contain slightly more uranium 235 than occurs naturally. When a source of neutrons is introduced to the uranium 235 atom, the neutron splits the uranium nucleus, releasing energy in the form of heat and further neutrons, which in turn, splits other uranium nuclei. Considerable heat is generated from this fission reaction, and becomes the energy source that boils water to steam. The steam ultimately drives the power station's turbines.



Advantages: 

Nuclear power is safe. Generating electricity from nuclear power does not lead to carbon dioxide emissions and other 'greenhouse' gases that can damage the environment. The process produces small volumes of waste to dispose of.

Disadvantages:

Negative public perceptions about nuclear energy because of its association with nuclear weapons and concerns about nuclear waste and safety. Nuclear stations with engineering safety systems are expensive, mainly because of the systems needed to ensure their safety. Waste disposal is also expensive.

The PBMR technology, however, is inherently safe and therefore more affordable.