March, Unofficial Nuclear Month.


Adrian Lee

In remembrance of Three Mile Island (March 28, 1979)and Fukushima (March 11, 2011)  I have decided to make March the unofficial nuclear month. There will be 5 or more articles for this including “How a Nuclear Reactor Works”, “The Story of Fukushima”, “The Story of Three Mile Island”, “The Story of Chernobyl”, and “The evolution of Nuclear Warheads”.

Ukraine still fears another Chernobyl-size disaster at Europe's largest nuclear plant : NPR

To kick off Unofficial Nuclear Month I will start by talking about nuclear reactors and nuclear energy and nuclear warheads.

Nuclear Power

Nuclear power is made by splitting atoms in two. This is called nuclear fission and is one of the most effective ways of getting energy.

There is also Nuclear fusion which smashes atoms together instead of pulling them apart. An example of this would be the Hadron Collider which creates small black holes for a fraction of a second. If we can make a sustainable fusion reactor all of the world’s energy problems would be solved. Unfortunately, the only fusion reactors we have aren’t sustainable and cost a fortune to run. If you want to learn about reactors wait for “How a Nuclear Reactor Works” in March.

Nuclear Bombs

The Manhattan Project (The first attempt at making an Atomic Bomb) Started on August 14, 1942. This project led to the end of World War 2 and later the development of the hydrogen bomb. The Manhattan project was headed by Brigadier Gen. Leslie R. Groves and physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer and was based out of Los Alamos, New Mexico. The A-Bombs used in World War 2 used uranium but the first successful version was made of plutonium and tested on July 16, 1945. The First time a Nuclear warhead was used in war was in World War 2 on Hiroshima, Japan August 6, 1945, and again on Nagasaki on August 6, 1945. If you want to hear more about nuclear warheads you can read “The Evolution of Nuclear Warheads” in March

Up next for nuclear month: “How a Nuclear Reactor Works”