France produces so much electricity through nuclear power that it exports the surplus to other countries¹.
Nuclear energy produces approximately 1/5th (20-22%) of the electricity used by the United States, but the U.S. also wastes 25-40% of all electricity that is produced².
Improving the fuel economy of vehicles has a much greater impact on reducing the demand for foreign oil than the generation of nuclear power does².
The production of electricity using nuclear energy creates no carbon dioxide emissions².
Uranium was discovered in 1789 by German Chemist Martin Klaproth and was named after the planet Uranus³.
In 1895, Wilhelm Rontgen first discovered the power of ionizing radiation when he produced continuous x-rays while passing an electrical current through a glass tube³.
The reliable electrical power necessary for long-term space missions can only be generated by harnessing the energy in the sun’s rays or through the heat generated during the natural radioactive decay of an isotope such as plutonium-238⁴.
There are approximately 436 large commercial nuclear power plants in operation today⁵.
Nuclear fission occurs when an atom is split and then releases energy. This process can occur through natural decay or under laboratory conditions⁶.
Uranium-235 is the most commonly occurring fissionable atom and is used in most nuclear reactors⁷.
Nuclear energy can be produced through fission (the splitting of atoms) or through fusion (the joining of atoms together). Nuclear fusion is constantly taking place on the sun, as hydrogen atoms join to make helium⁸.
The energy produced by one ton of natural uranium is so dense that it equals the energy produced by the burning of 16,000 tons of coal or 80,000 barrels of oil⁹.
Naturally-occurring uranium has a 2,000 year use of coloring for glass, producing a yellow to greenish hue⁹.
Uranium can burn at an air temperature of 150-170 degrees Celsius (300-350 degrees Fahrenheit)⁹.
In 2013, France produced 73.3% of its total electricity through nuclear power¹⁰.