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Uranium (Nuclear Power): Energy Source Fact File!

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We’ve just got back from Westfield, Stratford where British Gas hosted the finals of their exciting new Generation Green Energy Performance competition where schools competed to win an Energy Makeover, worth up to £150,000!

Six school classes were then chosen to dance on a special dance floor, made of tiles that converted their footsteps into electrical power!

Oh, and they got to dance with Jordan and Perri from Diversity!

Click here to find out more!

To help you get thinking about energy, we’ve got some great pages all about it! Here’s the need-to-know stuff about the energy source, Uranium (Nuclear Power)!

Description
Uranium is a silvery black metal. Uranium ore is mined from deep underground.

Where can you find Uranium?
Uranium can be found in many places but Australia and Canada are the largest exporters.

How is it made into electricity?
Uranium atoms split and release energy in a process called nuclear fission. This energy heats up the uranium. This heats water to produce steam that turns the blades of a turbine. These are attached to a generator which produces electricity.

What are the advantages of using coal?

  • Nuclear power is relatively cheap to produce; it costs about the same as producing electricity from coal.
  • It does not contribute much to the greenhouse effect because it produces very little carbon dioxide.
  • A large amount of electricity can be produced from a relatively small amount of fuel.
  • It produces small amounts of waste.

What are the disadvantages of using coal?

  • Although the amount of waste produced is very small, it highly dangerous.
  • The initial costs to build a nuclear power station can be very high.
  • Nuclear waste must be sealed up and buried for many years to allow the radioactivity to die away. A nuclear leak would contaminate the surrounding area with lethal toxic waste.
  • It does not use a renewable resource; when the uranium is used up it cannot be replaced.
  • It is very difficult to turn off a nuclear power station.

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Competition is now closed.

Click on another Energy Source below to keep on exploring!


 

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