Skip Navigation LinksDEP > Citizens > Just For Kids > Energy > Sources > Nuclear Energy

Nuclear Energy

nuclear energyNuclear energy is energy that comes from the nucleus (core) of an atom. Atoms are the particles that make up all objects in the universe. Atoms consist of neutrons, protons, and electrons.

The fuel most widely used by nuclear power plants for fissioning is uranium. Uranium is the heaviest of the 92 naturally occurring elements and is classified as a metal.

Uranium was formed when the earth was created and is found in rocks all over the world. Rocks that contain a lot of uranium are called uranium ore, or pitch-blende. Uranium, although abundant, is a nonrenewable energy source.

nuclear plant in 1957Did you know that the first commercial nuclear power plant came on line in Shippingport, Pennsylvania in 1957?