Hi, and thanks for your question.
The biggest use of nuclear technology is to
generate electricity. In total, nuclear power
plants supply about 12% of the world's electricity
(that's almost 3,000,000,000 100-Watt light
bulbs!). In addition to generating electricity,
nuclear technology (radiation and radioisotopes)
is also used in medicine (treat cancer),
agriculture (fertilizer), and space (to
power the Mars rover!).
We live in a world with over 7 billion people,
and with the population expected to increase to 9
billion people by the year 2050, it's important to
understand different energy sources (including
nuclear). Our society needs bright thinkers like
you to help meet the energy needs of the future!
So as surprising as it may seem, no product is
really made out of nuclear energy. The way we get
nuclear energy is by splitting large atoms called
Uranium in a process called “fission.” The
from this process is used to heat water. That’s
it. A nuclear power plant is basically like a
giant tea kettle. The reason why we want to
heat water is that when water boils, it makes
steam. This steam can then move the inner parts of
a “turbine” which lets the turbine move a magnet
back and forth. When a magnet is moved back and
forth in a loop of wire, it generates electricity.
So the nuclear energy is used to make
Nuclear energy comes from the splitting of
atoms into their components. This is called
fission.Fission releases a lot of energy in the
form of heat. In a nuclear power plant, the
heat from fission is used to boil water and make
high-pressure steam, which turns a turbine to
produce electricity. This is almost exactly how
most other power plants work! The main difference
is that in other kinds of power plants the heat to
boil water usually comes from burning something
like coal, instead of from fission.
Electricity from all power plants goes into
the electricity grid, and from there it powers our
homes, cities, and businesses.
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