Next-Gen

Uranium

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by saramcf29
Last updated 1 year ago

Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Energy & Environment
Grade:
8

Test Glog

Uranium

Production

- Uranium mainly produces clean, greenhouse gas- free electricity from nuclear fuel.-Other minor uses are: * used in ballast * radiating crops * medicine * munitions * armor plating

-Uranium is a naturally occurring radioactive element, that is very hard and heavy and is classified as a metal. -It is also one of the few elements that is easily fissioned. -It is the fuel used by nuclear power plants. Rocks that contain a lot of uranium are called uranium ore. -Uranium, although abundant, is a nonrenewable energy source.

-In nuclear fission, atoms are split apart to form smaller atoms, releasing energy. Fission takes place inside the reactor of a nuclear power plant. At the center of the reactor is the core, which contains the uranium fuel.-The uranium fuel is formed into ceramic pellets. Each ceramic pellet produces roughly the same amount of energy as 150 gallons of oil. These energy-rich pellets are stacked end-to-end in 12-foot metal fuel rods. A bundle of fuel rods, sometimes hundreds, is called a fuel assembly. A reactor core contains many fuel assemblies.-The heat produced during nuclear fission in the reactor core is used to boil water into steam, which turns the turbine blades. As the turbine blades turn, they drive generators that make electricity. Afterward, the steam is cooled back into water in a separate structure at the power plant called a cooling tower. The water can then be reused.

Uses

- Uranium only produces 10% of our world's electricity so it isn't the most consumed thing in every country.-The US gets most of it's Uranium from other countries like Canada, Russia, and Kazakhstan. Only 9% comes from within the States.-The production varies all over the world.- In the future when the fossil fuels are gone, we are going to have to rely more on nuclear and renewable energy sources.see graphs for more information

Consumption

Environment and Economy

- Uranium prodvides less pollution to the air and it combats global warming.-However, some of it's decaying products do pose a threat, especially radon.-Exposure to natural amounts of uranium does not cause any harmful radiation effects. But, large amounts of uranium can cause health problems such as kidney disease.-Can't be found in the environment in it's elemental form.-One of the cheapest energy productions. The captial costs are higher than the actual fuel costs.-$10 billion worth of uranium in Virgina alone. $4.8 billion worth in Texas.-It doesn't have a huge affect on the economy. It is only a small portion of the United States.

Cites:http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Nuclear-Fuel-Cycle/Introduction/What-is-Uranium--How-Does-it-Work-/http://www.need.org/Files/curriculum/Energy%20At%20A%20Glance/UraniumAtAGlance_8.5x11.pdfhttp://www.lenntech.com/periodic/elements/u.htmhttp://benefitof.net/benefits-of-uranium/https://www.iaea.org/OurWork/ST/NE/NEFW/Technical-Areas/NFC/uranium-production-cycle-redbook.htmlhttp://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2008/03/uranium-mining-is-important-for-securing-americas-energy-future


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