Nuclear Education

This is where I have compiled my blog posts about nuclear energy, links to relevant information, educational videos, etc. Think of this as my new landing page for nuclear posts. All relevant posts are listed here with a short description to go along with them, and some relevant links are provided at the bottom. Aby przeczytać je po polsku, kliknij tutaj.

First off, How I Came to be a Nuclear Advocate. This is the short story of how I came to love nuclear energy. Honestly, I find it fascinating, and the more I learned about it, the more I wanted to learn. This short journey that has jumped me into a new hobby (and volunteer work) got it’s start in an unexpected place.

So, What is Nuclear Energy? Here we explore the process of fission and learn how we can induce, control, and exploit the energy released from the breaking apart of atoms. There are many different types of reactors that work using different processes, different fuels, etc. For simplicity’s sake, this explanation is a generalization of the most common types in the US.

Radiation is defined as the emission of energy as electromagnetic waves or as moving subatomic particles. electromagnetic radiation is a wide spectrum that covers everything from microwaves and wifi, to visible light and even x-rays!

Energy Density is the amount of energy contained in a given amount of a fuel (just like density is the weight in a given area of an object). Different energy densities means different fuel efficiencies, and some energy sources use no fuel at all!

Next, we explore arguments against nuclear energy and weigh them against the facts. In this first post, I briefly cover many of the common arguments and show why they don’t hold up. In following posts, we go more into detail about these arguments by category.

Capacity Factor (CF) is one of the biggest things that sold me on nuclear power. CF is the amount of energy actually produced compared to the amount something could produce if it operated at full power 100% of the time. Here’s a hint: nuclear regularly operates above 90%, beating gas and coal. Wind and Solar? Below 40% on average.

Nuclear Waste is generated in incredibly small amounts, another awesome fact about nuclear energy. Nuclear fuels like uranium are extremely energy dense; one single uranium fuel pellet (10 grams) creates as much energy as one ton of coal. Using less fuel means we generate less waste.

The Cost of building a nuclear plant is quite high up front, but can pay off big time in the long run, and that’s just the money side of it, not factoring in the fact that nuclear power doesn’t release greenhouse gasses or air pollution (which is estimated to kill over 7 million people worldwide annually).

Some relevant links:

Roadmap to Nowhere

Economics of Nuclear Power (youtube)