Nuclear energy was discovered in the process of creating the atomic bomb. After scientists conducted more experiments, they found that nuclear power was a clean and efficient way to produce energy. “The first nuclear reactor was created on December 2, 1942, at the University of Chicago by Enrico Fermi.” (Editors of Scientific America, 1995). The discovery of nuclear energy provided a new source of energy and an alternative to the use of natural resources: such as coal, oil, water, and wood. At the same time, nuclear energy could be used in a destructive way, such as the atomic bomb.
At that time, the discovery of a new source of energy was a very significant event. By using a small amount of plutonium and uranium, two radioactive elements, an enormous amount of energy could be obtained. Nuclear energy can be produced in two different ways, by the fission or fusion process. Fission involves the breaking up of heavier atoms into lighter atoms. In a nuclear fission reaction, two smaller nuclei of approximately equal mass are formed from the splitting of a large nucleus. This splitting of an atom produces a large amount of energy. …