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Fossil fuels are non-renewable energy resources; these are coal, oil and natural gas. They were formed from the remains of living organisms millions of years ago and they release heat energy when they are burned. This heat is used to turn water into steam, which is used to turn a turbine, which then drives a generator to generate electricity. There are downsides however, fossil fuels release sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide which lead to acid rain and an increase in global warming.
Another form of non-renewable energy is Nuclear. The main nuclear fuels are uranium and plutonium. The nuclei of these large atoms are split in a process called nuclear fission to release a great deal of heat. The heat energy is again used to boil water. The kinetic energy in the expanding steam spins turbines, which then drive generators to produce electricity. Unlike fossil fuels, nuclear fuels do not produce carbon or sulphur dioxide. However, they do have the risk of a fault where large amounts of radioactive material could be released into the environment such as the disaster of Chernobyl in 1986.