Unit 3: Nuclear Power

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  • Nuclear Power
    • Formation
      • Nuclear fission
        • Splitting of nuclei of fissile fuels with large atoms
      • Nuclear fusion
        • Joining of nuclei of small atoms
    • Characteristics
      • High energy density
        • Plants can be located in remote areas
      • Finite resources
      • High abundance but in low purity ores
      • Rapid development of nuclear fission technology
        • Other isotopes of uranium may be needed in future (can't use them in reactors now)
      • Nuclear fusion still undergoing development
      • Links between nuclear electricity and weapons
      • Expensive due to lack of estimates for decommissioning costs
    • Factors Limiting Nuclear Power Use
      • Very complex technology - difficult for LEDCs
      • Expensive due to technology
      • Public opposition - nuclear weapons and safety concerns
      • Problems with disposal of waste
      • Uncertainty over decommissioning costs

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