Nuclear plants, are like the plants that burn oil, coal and natural gas, produce electricity by boiling water and turning it into steam. The steam then wuth pressure turns the turbines to produce electricity .the only difference is that the nuclear power stations do not burn anything. Instead, they use uranium fuel, which creates a reaction consisting of solid ceramic pellets, to produce heat witch would eventually create electricity through a process called fission.
This process, called fission requires the splitting of atoms of uranium in a nuclear reactor.
The nuclear power station does not burn fuel like every other power station, but it creates a reaction which is so big that it is enough to create heat.
In order to create heat a fissile material which gets fission would get hit by a neutron of any energy level. The most commonly fission known fissile are the isotopes of plutonium and namely pu-241, pu-239, u-235and u-233
How it reacts
The heat is produced by when the neutrons hit other uranium atoms, those atoms also split, releasing neutrons of their own, along with heat. These neutrons then strike other atoms, splitting them. A fission triggers others, which that leads it to triggers still more until there is a chain reaction. When that happens, fission becomes self-sustaining
Main parts of nuclear power station
· Moderator – this part of the plant slow down the neutrons that are released from the fission, this way they cause even more fission .this is usually water , but cloud be even graphite
· Control rods – the rods are made out of neutron- absorbing materiel (these materials are usually the following – cadmium, hafnium and boron). These are put or withdrawn from the core, this is done, to control the rate of reaction, or stop it. In some places, they have special control rods which are used to enable the core to have a low level of efficiency. (definition of fission…… is when neutrons don’t react at the same time ,but the firsts give a chain reaction to the outer to reals )
· Coolant – is a fluid that circulates through the core to transfer heat from it. In reactors that use light water, the mediator functions as a primary coolant. Except in BWRs ,in BWRs there would be a secondary coolant where the water becomes steam a PWR usually has two to four primary coolant MW electric motor , the size of these is big and can amount to 110 tones
· Pressure vessel or pressure tubes. usually a strong steel vessel would be containing rector core
· Steam generator – like a normal power station , steam generates the turbines , the nuclear power plant works in the following way – part of the cooling system of pressurized water reactors ,where there would be a high pressure that is from the steam ,is passed through the turbine , causing it to turn
· Containment – a nuclear power plant is a very dangerous sight. so , the structure around the rector is designed to protect it from outside intrusion and to protect the life from effects of radiation in case there would be a malfunction inside , usually this would be meter-thick concrete and steel to cover the structure
· Lifetime of a nuclear power plant – obviously this will very on how the plant was designed , the plant has life time of around 30 to 40 years of operation . but this can obviable very , for example in Amerika there are some which are licensed to work for 40 to 60 years
· Advantages of a nuclear power plant –one of the main advantage is the fact that this kind of power station does not Amit greenhouse gases, at the moment fossil fuels are being consumed more fast then they are being produced, so in the future fossil fuels are going to increase in price as they would be much more hard to get.
Another advantage is about the required amount of fuel. In these types of plants, less fuel offers more energy
Disadvantages of nuclear power plant – as we know this is a very powerful, so you need to be careful of how and where u contain this kind of fuel, a nuclear accident makes a lot of damage (humans, animals and nature) and it destroys everything in its path. We can refer to an accident that happened in japan – the Fukushima nuclear accident. Reapers in a power station like this requires a lot of money , as it has to be safe to the people who work in it