What is nuclear energy? Explanation, Types, Reactions, Advantages & Disadvantages

What is nuclear energy?

It is the energy present in the nucleus of an atom. Atoms are basic tiny particles that makeup everything in the universe. There is a large amount of energy in the bonds that hold atoms together. The electricity is produced by using nuclear energy. Nuclear energy can be released from atoms in two ways:

Nuclear Energy

  • Nuclear fusion
  • Nuclear fission

Both are described below:

Nuclear fusion

The fusion energy is released when atoms are combined together to form a larger atom. The energy produces in the sun is an example of a nuclear fusion reaction.

Nuclear fission

In fission, the atoms are split apart to form smaller atoms, releasing energy. In nuclear power plants, nuclear fission is used to generate electricity.


Nuclear reactions and radiation

Nuclear reactions involve changes in a nucleus of an atom and due to this, the nucleus changes itself. Unlike normal chemical reactions that form elements or molecules, nuclear reactions result in the conversion of one element into a different isotope. There are 2 types of nuclear reactions. The first is radioactive decay. In which the atom is decay by the emission of the radiation to transforms itself into a more stable state. The other is the billiard ball type of reactions, where the nuclear particle like a proton is slammed into by another nuclear particle.

nuclear energy

What is nuclear damage?

Nuclear damage is explained as any injury to or the death, sickness or disease of a person; or damage to the environment including loss of property which arises from the radiation that is associated with a nuclear vessel, nuclear installation or handling of radioactive materials.

What is nuclear safety?

It means the achievement of safe and secure operating conditions, prevention of nuclear accidents or mitigation of nuclear accident consequences, resulting in the protection of the operator, the public and the environment against the harmful effects of ionizing radiation or radioactive material.

Advantages of nuclear energy

  • It is used to produce electricity.
  • It provides a large capacity of energy.
  • This helps us to start reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • This energy provides countries with an economic boost.
  • The technologies that produce nuclear energy are exceptionally reliable.
  • It is a safe and secure resource to use
  • The cost of it is manageable.

Disadvantages of Nuclear Energy

  • When working with nuclear energy there is always the threat of an accident.
  • The uranium needed for nuclear energy can also use in a weapon.
  • Exposure of nuclear materials or uranium can create health problems.
  • It does not provide us with a renewable energy resource.


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