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Nuclear Industry Benefits Worth Knowing

The nuclear industry has been at the core of one of the most controversial topics since its first research testing in the early 20th century. Nuclear energy is a form of power which can both save lives and cause the horrific destruction of millions of lives.

Nuclear energy is, in fact, the energy binding subatomic particles together against magnetic forces. When this power is unleashed, nuclear power produces one of the strongest forms of energy man has ever known.

The history of nuclear energy

It was in 1896 that the first nuclear energy event was recorded by the French physicist Henri Becquerel. This was when he had noticed that photographic plates which were placed near a Uranium sample turned dark like x-ray film, even when it was stored in darkness.

This observation and event lead to the discovery of nuclear forces which existed within atoms and the eventual harnessing of these forces within atomic bombs and nuclear energy reactors.

Types of nuclear energy

There are three types of nuclear energy defined by the means it is propagated. These three nuclear energy production methods are radioactive decay, nuclear fusion and nuclear fission. These three nuclear energy producing methods all release particles, neutrinos, gamma rays or all three.

Radioactive decay is a process where heavy and unstable atoms naturally break down over time. Nuclear fission produces nuclear energy by the splitting of atoms while nuclear fusion produces nuclear energy by the fusing of atoms.

Nuclear energy is everlasting but does tend to disappear till it is converted into an alternative energy from. The most important time frame to remember about nuclear energy is the effects it has on physical and biological matter.

Within its area of effect, the radiation produced by nuclear energy has profound and lasting effects on both biological life and ecological systems in a given area. It is when the exposure to nuclear energy is above relatively small doses that it leads to many pathologies in humans and other animals like cancer, radiation poisoning and birth defects.

Benefits of nuclear energy

It is a fact that the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 was one of the greatest atrocities mankind has experienced. However, despite this, nuclear energy is of significant help to humanity.

Nuclear energy is used in many medical procedures like nuclear MRI technology. The nuclear energy produced in nuclear power plants can provide power to innumerable people in various countries while reducing the need of burning ozone-depleting fossil fuels for power.

Generally, the nuclear industry plays an important part to mankind in not only medicine, but also in nuclear defence and scientific aid. It is such a magnanimous tool that the entire human race can even get extinguished in a single afternoon.

While the combined effects of the bombs dropped in the Second World War equalled about 2 megatons, today’s nuclear weapons have the capacity of producing a destructive force to the tune of several tons of megatons! This is equal to the magnitude of the entire destructive force of the Second World War focused several times over on one spot.

Though this point has not reached so far, there is always a chance of nuclear energy reaching it. This is why nuclear energy requires a very mature and knowledgeable society to wield and properly use it.

 

*Image courtesy Flickr Creative Commons

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