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Nuclear power

Just as many conventional thermal power stations generate electricity by harnessing the thermal energy released from burning fossil fuels, nuclear power plants convert the energy released from the nucleus of an atom via nuclear fission that takes place in a nuclear reactor. The heat is removed from the reactor core by a cooling system that uses the heat to generate steam, which drives a steam turbine connected to a generator producing electricity.

On June 27, 1954, the USSR's Obninsk Nuclear Power Plant became the world's first nuclear power plant to generate electricity for a power grid.

The first commercial nuclear generator to become operational in the United States in 1957.

In January 2011, the IAEA reported there were 442 nuclear power reactors in operation in the world, nuclear capacity reaches 369.678GW. There're 65 nuclear power reactors under construction provide 16% of the world's electricity.

Nuclear power relies on fissionable material that can sustain a chain reaction with neutrons. Examples of such materials include uranium and plutonium.

Some reactors do not use moderators to slow the neutrons. Like nuclear weapons, which also use unmoderated or "fast" neutrons, these Fast-neutron reactors require much higher concentrations of fissile isotopes in order to sustain a chain reaction.

During the nuclear reaction inside a reactor, the fissile isotopes in nuclear fuel are consumed, producing more and more fission products.

nuclear power is a sustainable energy source that reduces carbon emissions.

nuclear power produces virtually no conventional air pollution, such as greenhouse gases and smog, in contrast to the chief viable alternative of fossil fuel. Nuclear power can produce base-load power unlike many renewables which are intermittent energy sources lacking large-scale and cheap ways of storing energy.