Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Facts on Nuclear Energy

1. Henri Becquerel, a French physicist discovered the nuclear energy by accident in 1896. It happened when he found photographic plates stored in the dark near uranium were blackened.

2. Nuclear energy is produced by a controlled nuclear chain reaction and creates heat - which is used to produce steam to drive a steam turbine.

3. There are more than 400 nuclear power plants in the world.

4. Nuclear energy supplies electricity each year to serve 60 million homes.

5. Almost 3 million Americans resides within 15km of an operating nuclear power plant.

6. Nuclear energy comes from mass-to-energy conversions that occur in the splitting of atoms. Albert Einstein’s famous mathematical formula E = mc^2 explains this.

7. Nuclear power plants need less fuel than ones which burn fossil fuels.

8. The International Nuclear Event Scale (INES), developed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is used to communicate the severity of nuclear accidents on a scale of 0 to 7. The Chernobyl disaster which happened in 1986 in Ukraine was the worst nuclear accident in history and is the only event to receive an INES score of 7.

9. A power plant must shut down every 18-24 months to remove its spent uranium fuel, which has become radioactive waste.

10. A person would have to live near a nuclear power plant for over 2,000 years to get the same amount of radiation exposure that he/she get from a single diagnostic medical X-ray.

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