Nuclear energy factsTechnology quiz
What is the only continent (except Antarctic) without nuclear power plants?
Australia is practically the only developed country not using electricity (indigenous or imported) from nuclear energy. Australia's abundance of cheap coal, conveniently located to population centers, has ruled nuclear energy out of contention on economic grounds. There are nuclear power plants on all other continents, including South America (Brazil, Argentina) and Africa (South Africa).
Apart from power plants, who is the main user of nuclear reactors worldwide?
The army. By 1990 there were more nuclear reactors powering ships (mostly military) than there were generating electric power in commercial power plants worldwide (however, marine reactors are much smaller). Many of these submarines and other vessels were decommissioned in the 1990s.
United States is the global leader in nuclear power production. Which country takes the second place?
France. The present situation is due to the French government deciding in 1974, just after the first oil shock, to expand rapidly the country's nuclear power capacity. This decision was taken in the context of France having substantial heavy engineering expertise but few indigenous energy resources.
What is the main reason to use nuclear reactor on a submarine?
It needs no oxygen. Nuclear reactor requires no oxygen for combustion and emits no exhaust gas. It gives the submarine the ability to operate submerged at high speeds, for unlimited periods, dependent only on the endurance of its crew. Nuclear power revolutionized the submarine, finally making it a true "underwater" vessel, rather than a "submersible" craft.
Which major European country has no nuclear power plants?
Italy is the only G8 country without its own nuclear power plants, having closed its last reactors in 1990. Italy relies heavily on imports and is the world's largest net importer of electricity, mostly from French nuclear power stations. The next nuclear-free economy on the European GDP list is Poland.