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Project ITER, an experimental nuclear fusion reactor in France

Project ITER, an experimental nuclear fusion reactor in France

The ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) fusion experimental reactor is a large-scale scientific experiment aimed at testing the nuclear fusion source. Currently, the ITER nuclear fusion reactor is under construction in Cadarache, in Southern France.

At the industrial level, nuclear fusion does not yet exist. Since the 1950s, research has been conducted on the use of the energy generated in the nuclear fusion of light atoms into heavier ones.

The development of nuclear fusion is considered very important for the future of atomic energy for two fundamental reasons:

  • The large amount of energy released in this process

  • The ease…

    Last review: September 23, 2020

Is there any nuclear power plant in Canada? Nuclear energy in Canada

Is there any nuclear power plant in Canada? Nuclear energy in Canada

Canada has 18 nuclear reactors operating in the country. They are principally located in Ontario. 

The country is rich in uranium mines. Canada is the second-largest producer and exporter of uranium in the world. 13 % of the global production of uranium mining came from Canada.

Nuclear power generation accounted for 15% of Canada's electricity in 2017.

According to the World Nuclear Association: About 15% of Canada's electricity comes from nuclear power, with 19 reactors mostly in Ontario providing 13.5 GWe of power capacity.

Canada is a…

Last review: September 22, 2020

What is a nuclear power plant? Utility and operation

What is a nuclear power plant? Utility and operation

A nuclear power plant is a thermal power plant whose source of energy is nuclear energy.

Its operation is similar to any other thermal power plant: thermal energy is generated from an energy source. Steam is generated with the thermal energy generated. Electricity is generated with steam.

The difference between the different types of electrical installations is in the source of energy: a nuclear power plant takes advantage of the heat released in the nuclear fission reactions of certain atoms (breaks them).

Nuclear reactions take place in the nuclear reactor. Fission chain reactions take place within the reactor in a controlled manner. The element that fission is called…

Last review: September 15, 2020

What is an electric generator?

What is an electric generator?

An electric generator is a machine capable of transforming some type of energy into an electric current. The energy source can be very varied: chemical energy, mechanical energy, light energy, or thermal energy.

The mechanisms that perform this energy conversion can include steam turbines, gas turbines, water turbines, internal combustion engines, and even cranks.

Electric generators are electrical devices capable of maintaining a difference in electrical potential (voltage) between two points. That is devices that produce electrical energy.  

The first electromagnetic generator, the Faraday disk, was invented in 1831 by British scientist Michael Faraday. Generators…

Last review: September 11, 2020

Types of potential energy

Types of potential energy

The concept of potential energy refers to the energy stored in an object due to its position in a force field. It may also be due to the configuration of its parts.

Mechanical energy is the sum the this energy and the kinetic energy of a body.

Due to its nature, this energy can be transformed into another type of energy.

Potential energy includes many types of energy. For instance: spring elastic, electrical, electrostatic, and chemical. We explain them in more detail below.

Gravitational potential energy

This kind of energy is that an object gains by the gravitational field of another object. They are generally very large bodies such as Earth.

 This…

Last review: June 12, 2020

What is an electron? Mass, charge and characteristics

What is an electron? Mass, charge and characteristics

An electron is a negatively charged stable elementary charge. Along with neutrons and protons, it is one of the three sub-particles that make up an atom. For this reason, it can also be defined as a subatomic particle that belongs to the group of leptons.

They can appear in a free state (without being attached to any atom) or attached to the nucleus of an atom using chemical bonding.

The Penning trap is often used to make precise measurements of this type of particle.

Electrons exist in atoms in spherical shells of various radius. These spherical layers represent energy levels. The larger the spherical shell, the greater…

Last review: June 11, 2020

What is an atom?

What is an atom?

The atom is a structure in which matter is organized in the physical world or in nature. Its structure is made up of different combinations of three sub-particles: neutrons, protons, and electrons. Molecules are made up of atoms grouped by chemical bonds.

It is the smallest unit of matter of which an element can be constituted.

This is an example in order to understand this concept better: We have a piece of iron which we split. We still have two smaller pieces of iron. Afterward, we keep splitting those pieces... We will have more and more smaller pieces.

There will come a time when we will only have a piece so small that it can no longer be broken. If we could break…

Last review: June 10, 2020

Electric energy

Electric energy

Electric energy is the movement of electrons. It can also be called electricity. We define electricity as the form of energy that results from the existence of a potential difference between two points.

When these two points are brought into contact by an electrical conductor like a copper wire, we obtain an electric current.

Electricity has many technical applications. Many of the phenomena related to electricity can be measured and calculated with great precision.

Characteristics of electric energy

Typically, these negative electrical charges (electrons) move through the electrical conductor. Normally…

Last review: June 9, 2020

Heat energy. Definition and examples

Heat energy. Definition and examples

Heat energy is the manifestation of energy in the form of heat. In all materials, the atoms that make up their molecules are in continuous movement, either moving or vibrating. It is also called thermal energy.

This movement of the particles implies that the atoms and molecules have a certain kinetic energy that we call heat, thermal energy, or heat energy. In a way, heat energy is the internal energy of a body. If kinetic energy increases the particles move faster.

The internal energy of a thermodynamic system can be changed in two ways: by doing work on the system and by exchanging heat with the environment. The energy that the body receives or loses in the process of heat…

Last review: May 16, 2020

What is radioactivity? Definition of nuclear decay

What is radioactivity? Definition of nuclear decay

Radioactivity is the spontaneous emission of particles or radiation, or both at the same time. These particles and radiation come from the decay of certain nuclides that form them. They disintegrate due to a fix in their internal structure.

The particles can be alpha, beta, or neutron. Radiations can be gamma and capture K.

Radioactive decay occurs in unstable atomic nuclei. That is, those that do not have enough binding energy to hold the nucleus together.

The decaying nucleus is called the parent. The process produces at least one daughter nuclide.

The decay is a nuclear transmutation resulting in a daughter containing a different number of protons or neutrons…

Last review: May 15, 2020

Cofrentes nuclear power plant, Spain

Cofrentes nuclear power plant, Spain

The Cofrentes nuclear power plant became operational on October 14, 1984.

It is a nuclear power plant with a BWR-6-Boiling Water Reactor (6th generation boiling water reactor) that initially had an installed capacity of 992 MWe but after certain improvements it was possible to expand the power at 111.85% today, equivalent to 1,110 MWe.

The Cofrentes nuclear power plant , owned by Iberdrola Generación Nuclear SA

At present, it deals with the nuclear installation with the highest electrical power capacity in…

Last review: April 7, 2020