Environmental Ecology- Energy

Term Definition
Natural Gas 21%- offshore drilling
Fracking Land-based process to get the oil out of the ground by explosions to pump out slurry
Problems with Fracking 1. Pollution of groundwater (aquifer)
2. Holding tanks leaking
Coal World's most abundant fossil fuel. Produces 40% of world's electricity.
1/3 … of all human activity comes from coal burning (greenhouse effect)
China Largest producer of coal
Montana US Coal Reserves. Largest underground supply
Synthetic Fuels 1. Coal Gasification convertes to synthetic natural gas
2. Coal Liquification coverts to liquid fuel (methanol)
3. "Clean coal technique"
Uranium Fuel for Nuclear Energy process
Nuclear Energy Process Uranium—-> fission process—-> split neutrons—> heat
3-4 Years … Replace control rods, put in cooling tanks (radioactive water), transported to dry storage
Half-life Amount of time it takes the substance to lose half it's radioactivity. (10,000-240,000 years). Very costly, reacted life 15-60 years.
Nuclear Energy …Produces no CO2
443 …Nuclear plants worldwide & in 30 Countries
16% ….World's electricity
1978 No new nuclear plants in US since that date.
Major Concerns of Nuclear Energy 1. Very costly
2. Safety issues- potential meltdown
3. Environmental & Safety regulations
4. Terrorist activity
5. Earthquakes & Tsunami
Modern Disasters 1. 1979- US (PA) Three Mile Island
2. 1986- Russia
3. 2011- Japan
1986 Chernoby Occurred in Northern Russia (Ukraine)- full meltdown.
25,000-60,000 people died. 350,000 had to leave their homes.
Nuclear Fusion Fuse two H+ isotopes—-> heavy nucleus —-> heat release
Environmentally sound- no potential for meltdown

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