Nuclear energy’s first developments were from chemists and physicists learning about the atom. The actual nuclear energy would come later. In 1895, Wilhelm Röntgen found that when he put an electric current in an evacuated tube, x-rays were produced. Rontgen called this ionizing radiation because the x-rays were a result of electrons coming off of an atom making the atom an ion. In the following year a man named Henri Becquerel took an ore containing uranium and radium, pitchblende, and saw that it caused to darken a sheet of silver salts on a piece of glass finding alpha particles and beta radiation. In 1902, Ernest Rutherford found that he could change what element an atom is by getting an alpha or beta particle to come off of the nucleus. Seventeen years later he proved this by making a nitrogen atom into oxygen from shooting alpha particles off of radium. By 1938 many scientists were able to gain understanding of radioactive isotopes and prove atomic fission occurred. At the time nuclear fission was described as a neutron being injected into the nucleus causing enough vibration that the atom splits into two close, but uneven parts and released about 200 million electron volts. T...
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United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Pressurized Water Reactors. http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/pwrs.html (accessed May 6, 2014).
United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Boiling Water Reactors. http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/bwrs.html (accessed May 6, 2014).
Ehresman, T. Benefits of Nuclear Energy. https://inlportal.inl.gov/portal/server.pt/community/nuclear_energy/277/benefits_of_nuclear_energy/7019 (accessed May 7, 2014).
Nuclear Energy Institute. Cost & Benefits Analyses. http://www.nei.org/Issues-Policy/Economics/Cost-Benefits-Analyses (accessed May 7, 2014).
Maehlum, A. M. Nuclear Energy Pros and Cons. http://energyinformative.org/nuclear-energy-pros-and-cons/ (accessed May 7, 2014).
Why a Nuclear Reactor Cannot Explode like an Atomic Bomb. http://www.personal.psu.edu/jdd5053/blogs/the_den/nuclear%20fission.pdf (accessed May 8, 2014).
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