The Collaborative International Dictionary
nuclear power \nuclear power\ n.
Power derived from nuclear reactions; -- used at present especially of electrical power generated in atomic reactors, but encompassing also fusion power.
Syn: atomic energy, atomic power, nuclear energy, nuclear energy.
A country possessing nuclear weapons.
n. 1 (context uncountable English) Power, especially electrical power, obtained using nuclear fission or nuclear fusion 2 (context countable English) A nation that possesses nuclear weapons
n. nuclear energy regarded as a source of electricity for the power grid (for civilian use) [syn: atomic power]
Nuclear power is the use of nuclear reactions that release nuclear energy to generate heat, which most frequently is then used in steam turbines to produce electricity in a nuclear power plant. The term includes nuclear fission, nuclear decay and nuclear fusion. Presently, the nuclear fission of elements in the actinide series of the periodic table produce the vast majority of nuclear energy in the direct service of humankind, with nuclear decay processes, primarily in the form of geothermal energy, and radioisotope thermoelectric generators, in niche uses making up the rest.
Nuclear fission power is a low carbon power generation method of producing electricity, and gives similar greenhouse gas emissions per unit of energy generated to renewable energy. As all electricity supplying technologies use cement etc., during construction, emissions are yet to be brought to zero. A 2014 analysis of the carbon footprint literature by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that fission electricities embodied total life-cycle emission intensity value of 12 g eq/ kWh is the lowest out of all commercial baseload energy sources, and second lowest out of all commercial electricity technologies known, after wind power which is an Intermittent energy source with embodied greenhouse gas emissions, per unit of energy generated of 11 g eq/kWh. Each result is contrasted with coal & fossil gas at 820 and 490 g eq/kWh. With this translating into, from the beginning of Fission-electric power station commercialization in the 1970s, having prevented the emission of about 64 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, greenhouse gases that would have otherwise resulted from the burning of fossil fuels in thermal power stations.
There is a social debate about nuclear power. Proponents, such as the World Nuclear Association and Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy, contend that nuclear power is a safe, sustainable energy source that reduces carbon emissions. Opponents, such as Greenpeace International and NIRS, contend that nuclear power poses many threats to people and the environment.
Far-reaching fission power reactor accidents, or accidents that resulted in medium to long-lived fission product contamination of inhabited areas, have occurred in Generation I & II reactor designs, blueprinted between 1950 and 1980. These include the Chernobyl disaster which occurred in 1986, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster (2011), and the more contained Three Mile Island accident (1979). There have also been some nuclear submarine accidents. In terms of lives lost per unit of energy generated, analysis has determined that fission-electric reactors have caused fewer fatalities per unit of energy generated than the other major sources of energy generation. Energy production from coal, petroleum, natural gas and hydroelectricity has caused a greater number of fatalities per unit of energy generated due to air pollution and energy accident effects. Four years after the Fukushima-Daiichi accident, there have been no fatalities due to exposure to radiation, and no discernible increased incidence of radiation-related health effects are expected among exposed members of the public and their descendants. The Japan Times estimated 1,600 deaths were the result of evacuation, due to physical and mental stress stemming from long stays at shelters, a lack of initial care as a result of hospitals being disabled by the disaster, and suicides.
- Ten new reactors were connected to the grid.
- Seven reactors were permanently shut down.
- 441 reactors had a worldwide net capacity of 382,855 megawatts of electricity.
- 67 new nuclear reactors were under construction.
Most of the new activity is in China where there is an urgent need to control pollution from coal plants.
Usage examples of "nuclear power".
Thus far, you have still not committed the cardinal error of using nuclear power in order to bring about the extinction of a major proportion of your species.
Stages two and three are, for the first time, operating with nuclear power.
Chancellor Ruff's great adventure in making Germany a nuclear power was at an end.
Would you stand idly by and watch an unpredictable nuclear power spring to life overnight in your backyard?
Though both had nuclear power plants, the reactor systems were noisy, especially the feed pumps that ran cooling water through the nuclear pile.
The Adar did not seem to have the, often irrational, human fear of nuclear power and its byproducts, however.
And there was enough nuclear power under Remo's feet to eliminate most of the matter from the Rockies on the west to the Appalachians on the east.
He knew the deck crew's suits might be anti-radiation suits, the same kind worn by workers in nuclear power plants.
Maybe the ship was on fire, maybe the nuclear power plant had gone out of kilter.
He has worked as a designer, an engineer, and consultant in the defense, nuclear power, and computer industries.