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Can Energy Be Produced from Nuclear Weapons?

Nuclear weapons can be recycled and utilized as an energy source. Many countries that use nuclear power, including the United States, utilize this method of energy production. As much of 10 percent of the energy produced in the U.S. is made possible by converting megatons of nuclear weapons to megawatts of energy.

More facts about U.S. energy sources:

  • The age of nuclear power began on 2 December 1942, when Enrico Fermi successfully initiated a chain reaction using a pile of uranium. The experiment took place at the University of Chicago. Fermi‚Äôs research served as the basis for the development of the atomic bomb in the 1940s and the hydrogen bomb in the 1950s.

  • Producing energy from nuclear weapons provides one source of energy, but the major source of energy in the U.S. is petroleum or oil. Other major sources of energy include natural gas and coal.

  • The use of specific energy sources varies from one sector to another. Petroleum accounts for more than 95 percent of the energy production in the transportation sector, but it accounts for only about 2 percent of the energy used to generate electric power. Renewable energy sources are also utilized in the U.S., although to a lesser degree than other sources. Renewable energy sources can include water, sunlight and wind.

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