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Practice Essay: Uranium & Geothermal Energy

Uranium and geothermal energy are two sources of energy which come from the earth. The word geothermal comes from two Greek words. Geo means earth and therme means heat. Clearly, when we use geothermal energy, we are using the heat which comes from the earth. Uranium is a metal found in certain kinds of rock. It is fuel used to produce electricity in nuclear power plants.

For hundreds of years, people have known that there is heat within the earth. If you were to go deep below the earth's surface. it would grow hotter and hotter. It would get so hot that the rocks would become molten, or melted. That kind of molten rock is called magma. Sometimes magma pushes through a crack in the earth's surface, making a volcano. The magma flows out of the volcano as lava.

There are huge amounts of water underground which come from the rain and melting snow that sink into the ground. When water touches magma, the water becomes very hot. Sometimes it forms a natural hot spring and makes its way to the surface of the earth. The water sometimes gets so scalding that some if it turns into steam. The steam and water force themselves upward and form a geyser. The most famous geyser in the United States is Old Faithful, which is in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

Pretend that you live in a house with no heat or electrcity. A natural spring with an endless supply of hot water was very near it, however. You could use the water to make your life more comfortable. You would not have to shiver in a cold bath anymore; you could use the warm spring water. You could also warm your food by heating it over the water. You could even pipe the hot water through your house to give you heat--just like a radiator does. Thus, you would be using geothermal energy.

Since 1890 geothermal energy has been used to heat some houses in the states of Idaho and Oregon. Hot water or steam from geothermal wells flows through pipes inside the houses and warm the air. In Iceland people use geothermal energy much more than they do in the United STates. Iceland is a cold, northern country. Much of it is bare reock, with very few trees. It has no coal, oil, or natural gas. But it has lots of underground hot water which is used to heat it's buidlgins. People in Iceland also use geothermal energy to heat greenhouses so that they can grow fruits, vegtables and flowers, during their long winters.

Test on C 1. The best title for this passage is 2. the word geothermal 3. All of the follwing statements are true EXCEPT 4. Geothermal energy is extremely useful in

ELISSA SOMMERFIELD is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate from the University of Texas at Austin with an MA in English from SMU. She taught English at SMU and in the Dallas County Community College District. For under 30 years, she has conducted classes in SAT and ACT preparation as well as in graduate school exam instruction and study skills. Additionally, she has tutored extensively in most academic areas, the ISEE, the composition of school entrance essays, and editing books. She has served as an SAT and educational consultant for 29 Texas school districts and has authored four books on SATs plus, with Frances Bailey Wood, co-authored and revised one on how to study efficiently. An educational consultant, as well as graduate school, college, and boarding school counselor, she is a member of Independent Educational Consultants Association and Texas Association for College Admissions Counselors. Sommerfield actively maintains her Certified Educational Planner designation and at UT was a Phi Beta Kappa in her junior year.

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