Scientific American notes that the world's uranium supply, the element used to create nuclear energy, can operate nuclear reactors for 200 years or more at stable consumption levels. Each nuclear reactor requires the use of low-enriched uranium fuel to create electricity. It is estimated that nuclear plants worldwide use approximately 70,000 metric tons of uranium to produce 2.8 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year.Know More
According to Scientific American, the Nuclear Energy Agency notes that as of 2009, approximately 5.5 million metric tons of uranium have been identified, and an estimated 10.5 million metric tons remain undiscovered. These combined amounts provide an estimated 230 years of nuclear energy. Uranium can be extracted from seawater in the future, but it is not currently financially feasible. This could yield an additional 4.5 billion metric tons of uranium that would supply world-wide nuclear power for an estimated additional 60,000 years at a stable consumption level, based on 2009 uranium usage amounts.
Scientific American also notes that though the world's nuclear reactors were initially expected to last no more than 40 years, many of them have been given licenses that extend use to 60 years. It is believed that the reactors are safe to operate for up to 80 years or more.Learn more about Natural Resources
One needs to conserve energy, or decrease our energy use, in order to preserve non-renewable resources and reduce our impact on the environment. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the production of electricity in 2012 was the primary source of greenhouse gas emissions, ultimately contributing to dangerous global warming.Full Answer >
Green energy refers to energy derived from renewable sources with a low environmental impact and includes solar, wind, geothermal, biogas and hydroelectric energy. Green energy sources don't create harmful greenhouse gases at the same rate as fossil-fuel energy sources.Full Answer >
Otto Hahn discovered nuclear fission, the method used in nuclear reactors to extract energy from nuclear materials. Enrico Fermi is credited as the first person to successfully create a nuclear chain reaction, which would be used in reactors in the future.Full Answer >
Sugarcane ethanol has the highest net energy output of all crop biofuel systems of transportation. Its net energy output is more than twice that of wheat ethanol or biomethane. One acre of Brazilian sugarcane can produce up to 660 gallons of biofuel.Full Answer >