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What are some Quick Facts about Nuclear Energy?

Nuclear Energy or Atomic Energy is the energy trapped inside an atom, and is considered the sustainable and limitless power source of the future. Not only is nuclear power the most reliable energy resource, it creates little or no greenhouse gases or pollution, produces far more energy than carbon-based fuels, is a reliable source of energy (reactors that spend little down time), cost effective when a standardized reactor design is used, and produces little waste. New reactor designs make it a renewable resource (breeder reactors), and advances are being made with uranium and new safer sources of fuel such as thorium (which is greater in abundance than uranium, cleaner, safer and provides less waste production).

Nuclear energy currently supplies 20 percent of the electricity used in the U.S, and 16% across the globe. This is likely to change dramatically in the future when nuclear energy production becomes safer and commercial. Nuclear Energy (includes both fission and fusion of the nucleus- it does not include energy required to hold electrons) or Atomic Energy (total energy that an atom carries with it which includes energy required to hold electrons in an atom). Both involve the natural energy trapped inside an atom, which is considered a sustainable, clean (carbon-free) and limitless power source of the future. Nuclear fuel has the highest "energy density" of all practical fuel sources which makes is highly efficient and affordable (waste disposal/safety are limiting concerns).

All solar energy, and energy from our earth's core is a result of nuclear power. All the elements in existence today are a result of nuclear reactions. In nature there is natural energy resulting from the slow breakdown of two of the largest natural atoms (uranium and thorium). Because of their size, they are unstable, meaning they are "radioactive." The slow breakdown of these two radioactive elements is enough to raise the earth's internal temperature (earth's core). A nuclear reactor simply takes the natural source of heat underground from uranium or thorium, and brings it to the surface by capturing the heat to boil water, producing steam which drives a turbine to generate electricity. Nuclear reactor power is not defying the laws of nature, but uses a process that already takes place in nature. Nuclear plants are the only source of scaleable, clean power (other than hydroelectric), that can supply base-load electricity on a mass scale and produce hydrogen (future in fuel cell technology) without producing greenhouse-gas emissions (CO2 emissions).

New research offers advancements in safe nuclear fuels (thorium and liquid metals), atomic batteries, breeder reactors and fast reactors (which burn recycled nuclear waste and are engineered to shut themselves down before the cooling system becomes unable to do its job), and in new molten-salt reactors or Small Modular Reactors (SMR) which are all quickly becoming reality for commercial use. SMRs are mini-reactors are fabricated and fueled in a factory, sealed and transported to sites for power generation on a small scale and then returned to the factory for defueling at the end of the life cycle. This is the beginning of commercial nuclear power and a new age in power which is central to mankind (hence the immense value of the domain nuclear.com). The Bill Gates Foundation is putting up money for its own modular reactor projects with his new firm http://www.terrapower.com/. And there is Leslie Dewan with Transatomic Power Corporation http://www.transatomicpower.com. New safe reactors are being tested all the time such as Small modular reactors (SMRs) which are a small type of nuclear fission reactor and offer entirely new generation IV designs, or SSTAR, a small, sealed, transportable, autonomous reactor. SSTAR is designed to be a self-contained reactor in a tamper-resistant container that can supply 10 to 100 MWe with a reactor system that can be transported in a shipping cask. As nuclear technology advances, nuclear power will go commercial and once that happens prices will drop, and we will enter into a nuclear era of unimaginable benefits.

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