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How does it work?Nuclear energy stored in the nucleus of uranium is released during nuclear fission. In order to produce enough energy at once, a chain reaction is set up so the neutrons produced in previous fission reaction can set off more reactions. Once the particles start moving, nuclear energy becomes kinetic energy. The kinetic energy then heats up the water around it, turns into thermal energy. The steam produced turns the turbine and kinetic energy becomes mechanical energy. From there, an electric generator turns this mechanical energy into electricity and send it to other parts of the world. EfficiencyThe efficiency of nuclear power generation is approximately 38%, which is the second most efficient method. Thermal energy is the major factor of it not being that efficient because a lot of thermal energy is consumed to boil water and produce steam. Therefore, the major issue is the huge amount of energy lost in the transfer of different energy. Even so, it is still considered pretty efficient compare to other methods.Environmental benefits and drawbacksNuclear power generation has been the biggest sources of electricity in developed countries for several years. According to the ministry of energy of ontario, 60% of the electricity is generated from nuclear power and according to Nuclear Energy Institute of the U.S., the number is 80%. That’s because Nuclear power generation is capable of producing a large amount of power at a single site, and no greenhouse gases are emitted. However, nuclear power has some down sides as well, it produced nuclear waste which is hard to deal with and the cost of each plant is high and the plants are difficult to maintain.Hydroelectric power generation:How does it work?Flowing water has gravitational potential energy due to different terrains, and as we learned in class, the greater the change in height, the greater potential energy an object can release, therefore we tend to build dams on large rivers where there is a large drop in elevation. So when gravity causes water to fall from the high end to the low end through a hydraulic turbine, the turbine converts the gravitational energy of flowing water into mechanical energy. A hydroelectric generator then converts this mechanical energy into electricity.Efficiency Hydroelectric power generation is the most efficient out of all the methods. Its efficiency is approximately 83% which is way higher than any other methods. That’s because water is in direct contact with the turbine and almost all of the kinetic energy is transferred into mechanical energy. The only energy lost along the way is thermal energy which cause by friction between in the turbine, maybe a little during the conversion of mechanical energy and electricity. Environmental benefits and drawbacksHydroelectric power generation is the most efficient method of producing electricity out of all the methods. It doesn’t harm environment directly because it doesn’t produce any waste, but the stations may damage the riverbeds and disrupt the ecosystems. It is also expensive to build the stations. ComparisonAs mentioned, nuclear power generation and hydroelectric power generation is pretty different in their own unique way, but on the bigger side, they both use kinetic energy to turn the turbine and the an electric generator to generate electricity from the mechanical energy in the turbine. In addition, they are both great at producing electricity, together, they provide over 80% of all electricity in Ontario and they are both environmentally friendly for the most part.

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