Nuclear Energy Basics

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The articles below provide general information on all things nuclear—ranging from nuclear energy basics and STEM content to featured industry jobs and national lab capabilities that are used to accelerate research and development in nuclear energy.

October 16, 2019
5 problems nuclear can solve thumbnail
5 Problems You Didn’t Know Nuclear Could Solve
Nuclear is tackling a multitude of issues impacting the world. Here are 5 problems you didn't know nuclear could solve.
July 30, 2019
Graphic of a nuclear power reactor with nuclear waste in concrete casks.
5 Fast Facts About Nuclear Waste
Get up to speed with these five fast facts about nuclear waste.
July 9, 2019
Photo of a TRISO fuel particle
TRISO Particles: The Most Robust Nuclear Fuel on Earth
TRISO particles cannot melt in a reactor and can withstand extreme temperatures that are well beyond the threshold of current nuclear fuels.
February 6, 2019
A pressurized water reactor
NUCLEAR 101: How Does a Nuclear Reactor Work?
Learn how boiling and pressurized light-water reactors work.
October 23, 2018
a photo of a truck with a microreactor unit on the back.
What is a Nuclear Microreactor?
Microreactors are not defined by their fuel form or coolant. Instead, they have three main features...
July 17, 2018
The words Accident Tolerant Fuels are on a banner next to a fuel assembly
5 Things You Should Know About Accident Tolerant Fuels
Accident tolerant fuels have the potential to improve performance and survive accident conditions a lot longer than today's nuclear fuel.
July 3, 2018
photo of space with text that reads small modular reactors the guardians of the grid
5 Key Resilient Features of Small Modular Reactors
These 5 features of small modular reactors bring resilience to the electric grid.
June 5, 2018
Small modular reactor model at NuScale Power
3 Innovations Transforming the Nuclear Industry
Advanced reactors, additive manufacturing and advanced fuels are expected to transform the U.S. nuclear industry. Here's how.
May 7, 2018
graphic of words that say fission vs fusion
Fission and Fusion: What is the Difference?
Infographic: Learn the difference between fission and fusion - two physical processes that produce massive amounts of energy from atoms.
April 17, 2018
A blue glow is present during the refueling of the HFIR reactor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
7 Fast Facts about the High Flux Isotope Reactor
7 fast facts on the High Flux Isotope Reactor—one of the nation's top facilities in producing medical- and industry-grade isotopes.
April 4, 2018
Homer Simpson sits in a nuclear control room and is sleeping
7 Things The Simpsons Got Wrong About Nuclear
Here are 7 things The Simpsons missed about nuclear energy.
March 12, 2018
aerial photo of advanced test reactor
7 Fast Facts About Idaho National Laboratory's Advanced Test Reactor
The Advanced Test Reactor at Idaho National Laboratory is one of the largest research reactors in the world helping to advance nuclear technologies.
March 7, 2018
Diagram of a molten salt reactor
3 Advanced Reactor Systems to Watch by 2030
These 3 advanced reactor designs are cleaner, safer and more efficient than previous generations. They could also debut as early as 2030.
February 27, 2018
Aerial view of the Grand Gulf Nuclear Plant in Mississippi
Nuclear Power is the Most Reliable Energy Source and It's Not Even Close
Nuclear energy has the highest capacity factor of any energy source, and it's not even close.
February 22, 2018
A researcher stands in front of a simulated computer modeling system
10 Jobs in Nuclear Starting at $60K or Higher
Nuclear energy has a host of careers that utilize many diverse skill sets, and the pay isn't bad either. These 10 jobs start at $60K or higher.
February 12, 2018
A woman poses in front of a research reactor.
This is Why I Decided to Become a Nuclear Engineer
Anna Biela is a nuclear engineering student at Purdue, but her passion for nuclear energy isn't by chance.
February 6, 2018
Graphic that shows a nuclear reactor with the title how much power does a nuclear reactor produce
INFOGRAPHIC: How Much Power Does A Nuclear Reactor Produce?
A typical nuclear reactor produces 1 gigawatt of power per plant on average. Just how much power is that exactly?
February 1, 2018
A photo of a mechanical claw inside a hot cell
Look Inside One of the Largest Hot Cell in the United States
The Hot Fuel Examination Facility at Idaho National Laboratory is one of the best places in the world to conduct radioactive materials research.
January 29, 2018
A photo of two cooling stacks in the distance with a river in the foreground
What is Generation Capacity?
Capacity is the amount of electricity a generator can produce when it's running at full blast. Learn more about this confusing energy term.
January 16, 2018
Photo of a nuclear power plant with text that reads five fast facts about nuclear energy.
5 Fast Facts About Nuclear Energy
Get up to speed on nuclear energy with these 5 fast facts.
January 8, 2018
small modular reactor
4 Key Benefits of Advanced Small Modular Reactors
Advanced small modular reactors could change the way we think about nuclear power. Here are 4 key benefits you need to know about them.
December 18, 2017
Picture of a nuclear reactor with the title how many holiday lights can a nuclear reactor power.
INFOGRAPHIC: How Many Holiday Lights Can a Nuclear Reactor Power?
See how many holiday lights one nuclear reactor can power in this infographic, which also doubles as an ornament!
December 1, 2017
Drawing that depicts Chicago Pile 1, the world's first reactor with a man pulling a control rod out of a reactor as another man in the background monitors.
10 Intriguing Facts About the World's First Nuclear Chain Reaction
Check out these 10 intriguing facts that you probably didn’t know about the world’s first controlled release of nuclear energy.
June 28, 2017
Nuclear Energy: Clean, Constant, and Cool
Nuclear Energy: Clean, Constant, and Cool
Many people don't realize the role that nuclear energy plays in our daily lives. Here's the lowdown on this clean, constant, and cool energy resource.
June 9, 2015
The History of Nuclear Power in Space
The History of Nuclear Power in Space
Explore the history of nuclear power systems in U.S. space exploration -- from early satellites to the moon, Mars and beyond.