Environmental Engineering Reference
In-Depth Information
Sun shines. (Nuclear
fusion occurs naturally in
stars, such as the Sun.)
Scientists hope to make
fusion into a practical
source of energy on
Earth. It would have a
number of advantages
over i ssion. For one
thing, fusion can release
much more energy than
i ssion. For another,
while it would produce
some radioactive waste,
it would not produce
the kinds of dangerous
radioactive waste that
i ssion does. Also, the
fuel it would use is
hydrogen, which is quite
abundant on Earth.
Fusion takes place
inside the Sun because
of the extremely high
temperatures there.
They run into millions
of degrees—so hot
that atoms lose their
electrons. The result
is something called
Recycling can make it easier
to deal with nuclear waste.
In several countries, used
fuel from nuclear reactors is
reprocessed. This reduces the
amount of high-level waste
that needs to be stored.
Reprocessing methods can
use almost all of the uranium
and plutonium in spent fuel.
The plutonium may be used
in breeder reactors or mixed
with uranium in MOX fuel.
A nuclear reprocessing plant.
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