Nuclear power uses fission (splitting atom nuclei) to produce energy.
Nuclear fusion (joining atom nuclei) also has potential for energy production.
Around 6% of the world’s energy and 14% of the world’s electricity is produced by nuclear power.
There are over 400 nuclear power reactors in use around the world.
Around 30 different countries have operational nuclear reactors.
The largest producers of nuclear power are the US, France and Japan.
Nuclear power provides around 20% of the electricity used in the US.
Nuclear power plants have a relatively good safety record but there is strong debate about the potential risk they pose.
Well known nuclear power plant accidents have occurred in Three Mile Island (1979), Chernobyl (1986) and more recently in Fukushima (2011).
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster occurred following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Nuclear reactors produce radioactive waste which can be difficult to dispose of safely.
Nuclear reactors are used to power some military submarines and aircraft carriers.
The Calder Hall nuclear power station in the UK was the first to deliver commercial quantities of electricity (1956).
Enjoy some more nuclear facts for kids.