A nuclear reactor is a facility capable of initiating, controlling and maintaining nuclear reactions (usually nuclear fission) in chain that occur in the core of this installation.
The composition of the nuclear reactor is formed by the nuclear fuel, the refrigerant, the control elements, the structural materials and, in the case of a nuclear reactor, the nuclear moderator.
To build a nuclear reactor it is necessary to have enough nuclear fuel, which we call critical mass. Having enough critical mass means having enough fissile…
Nuclear fuel is the material used for the generation of nuclear energy. It is a material that can be fissured or fused depending on whether its use is nuclear fission or nuclear fusion.
We refer to nuclear fuel both to the material (uranium, plutonium ...) and to the whole made with said nuclear material (fuel rods, nuclear material compositions and the moderator or any other combination.
The most known nuclear fuel is uranium because it is the most commonly used in nuclear fission reactors. Currently all nuclear reactors in production for the generation of electric power are…
Plutonium is a chemical element, usually of artificial origin, that is used as a nuclear fuel in the manufacture of nuclear weapons.
The symbol of this chemical element is Pu and its atomic number is 94. It is an element that belongs to the series of actinide elements. Plutonium has 16 isotopes, all of them radioactive. The element is a silver metal and has 5 different crystalline structures.
Chemically plutonium is a very active material. It can form compounds with all non-metallic elements, except noble gases. The metal dissolves in acids and reacts with…
In this section we analyze the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear energy. Nevertheless, most organizations related to nuclear energy are already positioned for or against the use of nuclear energy. On this site we try to make an objective analysis about this question, giving all the relevant information and offering a space for different conclusions.
The advantages and disadvantages of nuclear energy have made this alternative energy source one of the most controversial on the market today. Understanding the pros and cons of this energy source can help…
Nuclear reactors can be classified according to different criteria. One of the criteria is the purpose for which they will be used. In this regard we distinguish the types of nuclear reactors used for civilian purposes, for military purposes or for research purposes.
Civil nuclear reactors use nuclear energy to generate power for electricity; military reactors create materials that can be used in nuclear weapons such as the atomic bomb; and research nuclear reactors used to develop weapons or energy production technology, for development purposes, for nuclear physics…
The Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear accident is a series of incidents, including four separate explosions, that took place at the Naraha nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, following the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11. 2011. The Fukushima nuclear facility was a nuclear power plant to convert nuclear energy into electrical energy.
The Fukushima nuclear disaster occurred on March 11, 2011. It is the most serious nuclear accident in history after the Chernobyl nuclear accident.
The accident was caused by an 8.9-degree earthquake near the northwest coast of…
Enriched uranium is uranium that has gone through a technological process to increase the proportion of the uranium-235 isotope. As a result, natural uranium is divided into enriched uranium and depleted uranium.
Natural uranium contains three isotopes of uranium: uranium-238 (99.2745%), uranium-235 (0.72%) and uranium-234 (0.0055%). The isotope uranium-238 is a relatively stable isotope, incapable of an independent nuclear chain reaction, unlike the rare uranium-235. Currently, uranium-235 is the main fissile material in the chain reactions of nuclear…
The nuclear fuel is the material that has been adapted for use in nuclear power generation.
When it comes to nuclear fuel we can be talking about the same item or set that is made ready it can be used for containing the material itself, but also other elements.
The most widely used process involving the nuclear fission fuel.
There are different types of nuclear fuel, but the most common fuel is consisting of fissile elements such as uranium, generating chain reactions in nuclear reactors. The most common isotope in the fission is uranium-235.
Atomic energy comes from the atom, it is the energy that holds together neutrons and protons of the nuclei of atoms. It is also known how nuclear energy, which comes from the nucleus. The name nuclear energy is used because most of the energy of an atom resides in its nucleus.
Two parts of the atom, the nucleus and the crust are differentiated. In the cortex, an indeterminate number of electrons orbit around the nucleus. The nucleus is composed of an indeterminate number of neutrons and protons. The amount of protons in the nucleus will determine the element that the atom is treated,…
A boiling water reactor or BWR is a type of nuclear reactor. It is the second type of reactor most used in nuclear power plants in the world. Approximately 22% of the nuclear reactors installed in the different nuclear power plants use the boiling water reactor.
The main function of this type of reactors is their installation in power plants of power for the generation of electricity.
The most important feature of the boiling water reactor (BWR) is the use of pressurized water as a neutron moderator and as a core coolant. Unlike the pressurized water reactor (PWR), it does not…
Ability of a physical system to produce a job.
This definition, although it is the most widespread, can be misleading because of the vagueness of the term "capacity", and therefore, it is better to define the energy as what, when a work occurs, decreases in an amount equal to the work produced. Energy, then, is measured in the same units as labor. History of the study of energy
The notion of energy appears for the first time from the investigations of Joule and Carnot on the conversion of heat in mechanical work and thanks to the theory of Helmholtz in which it connects…
After the Second World War, the main use that was given to nuclear energy was the generation of electric power. Electricity, in this case, is generated in nuclear power plants. Generation of electricity through nuclear energy
The process to obtain electricity through nuclear energy is the result of a thermodynamic and mechanical process.
A nuclear power plant has the objective of transforming the internal energy of the uranium atoms into electrical energy. This process is…
Mexico is rich in hydrocarbon resources and is a net exporter of energy. The country's interest in nuclear energy is based on the need to reduce its dependence on these non-renewable energy sources. In recent years, energy in Mexico is increasingly dependent on natural gas.
Energy growth in Mexico was very rapid in the 1990s, but then stabilized for a few years. Since 2007, a new growth in the demand for electric power was expected, up to an average rate of almost 6% per year.
In 2016, Mexico generated 20% of its electric power through clean sources, including…
Electricity consumption in Argentina has grown strongly since 1990. Per capita consumption was just over 2000 kWh / year in 2002 and increased to around 3000 kWh / year in 2015. Gross electricity production in 2016 was 147 TWh , with 75 TWh (51%) of natural gas, 38 TWh (26%) of hydropower, 21 TWh (14%) of oil, 3 TWh (2%) of coal, 8 TWh (5% *) of nuclear energy and 10 TWh of net import. The total electric power produced by fossil fuels is 99TWh.
In Argentina, approximately 10% of electricity comes from 3 operational nuclear reactors: the Embalse nuclear power plant, a CANDU reactor,…
The Browns Ferry nuclear power plant (born as a Browns Ferry nuclear plant) is a functioning nuclear power plant in the southeastern United States.
The station is located on the shores of Lake Wheeler in the Tennessee River Basin in Limestone County, Alabama, 35 miles west of the city of Huntsville. Unit 1 of the Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant
Unit 1 is a 1101 megawatt electric BWR / 4 network built by General Electric. Construction began in Unit 1 on September 12, 1966 and was originally started online on December 20, 1973. It was authorized to operate until December…
The Vandellós II nuclear power plant is a power plant. The facility is located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, in the municipality of Vandellós, in the province of Tarragona. The national participation in the construction and supply of equipment represented more than 89% of the total, which represented the highest percentage achieved in Spain for this type of project.
The plant as a whole, which has a nuclear pressurized water reactor, consists of several main buildings: containment building, fuel, auxiliary and turbine building. In addition, it is equipped with…
The nuclear power plant is located in a place called "Cerrillo Alto", in the municipality of Trillo, on the right bank of the Tagus river, in the province of Guadalajara. The nearest towns are Trillo's own people and Cifuentes.
The plant property is divided between Spanish electricity companies: IBERDROLA GENERATION (48%), NUCLENOR (2%), Unión Fenosa Generación (34.5%) e HIDROCANTÁBRICO GENERATION (15.5%).
The plant was included in the forecast, with a horizon located in 1992, were developed in the previous National Energy Plan approved by the Government. These forecasts established…
Chemical energy is the potential of a chemical substance to undergo a transformation through a chemical reaction or to transform itself into other chemical substances. Forming or breaking chemical bonds involves energy. This energy can be absorbed or evolved from a chemical system.
The energy that can be released (or absorbed) by a reaction between a set of chemical substances is equal to the difference between the amount of energy of the products and the reactants. This change in energy is called the internal energy of a chemical reaction.
Since the strength of…
The use of nuclear energy involves some controversy. The main disadvantages of nuclear energy are widely known, especially those related to environmental pollution problems in the event of nuclear incidents or accidents.
However, the advantages of nuclear energy are important enough to keep this technology active. The main use of this technology based on the manipulation of atoms is the generation of electrical energy, which is considered a form of non-renewable energy.
Despite this, there are other uses of nuclear energy in such important fields as medicine, pest control,…
A gas reactor or GCR (English gas cooled reactor) is a type of nuclear nuclear reactor of nuclear fission. The neutron moderator of this type of nuclear reactor is graphite. The coolant of the nuclear gas reactor is carbon dioxide in the gaseous state. According to the classification made by the International Atomic Energy Agency of the United Nations, IAEA, this type of reactors includes those of the AGR type (of the English Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor) and Magnox (of the English Magnesium Non-OXidising), both of British technology.
Within the history of nuclear energy there was also…
Nuclear power in India is currently in a state of growth with strong nuclear development plans. By 2020, India has set a target to supply 14,600 MW to the grid through the use of nuclear energy. Subsequently, in 2050, India wants 25% of electricity is produced by nuclear energy.
India is a founding member of the global nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.
Because of these restrictions on trade and the lack of indigenous uranium, only India has been developing a nuclear fuel cycle to exploit its reserves of thorium.
Plans to boost nuclear power…
To explain the history of nuclear energy we could distinguish three major stages:
- Physical and chemical scientific studies of the elements.
- The development of the nuclear bomb during World War II.
- Use of nuclear energy in the civil field.
Scientific studies cover this whole period since the first Greek philosophers began to define atoms, until the development of the first nuclear bomb. In this process, different scientists discover the presence of electrons, neutrons and protons and properties that make one atom more radioactive than another.…
The uranium fuel treatment facility is located in Tokaimura (Japan), 120km northeast of Tokyo, in the Ibaraki Prefecture. It is currently owned by the company JCO.
The nuclear accident of the installation took place on September 30, 1999, in the conversion building of the nuclear plant.
The installation consists of three auxiliary uranium conversion buildings:
- One with an annual capacity of 220 tons of uranium per year for low enrichment (approximately 5%).
- Another with…
In nuclear energy, we refer to nuclear accident to those incidents that emit a certain level of radiation, which could harm public health.
Nuclear accidents are classified as nuclear accidents and incidents depending on the severity´s level. In this classification nuclear accidents and radioactive accidents are included. To understand the difference between these two types of accidents, a nuclear accident could be the failure of a reactor of a nuclear power plant and a radiation accident could be when pouring a radiation source to a river.
Despite the known nuclear…
Nuclear power in Spain began in 1964 with the start of the construction of three nuclear power plants: the José Carbrera nuclear power plant, the Santa María de Garoña nuclear power plant and the Vandellós nuclear power plant 1.
The first reactor that was built was that of the José Cabrera nuclear power plant, Zorita. The type of nuclear reactor in the plant is a pressurized water reactor. Two years later the construction of the Santa María de Garoña nuclear power plant begins. In this case, a boiling water nuclear reactor…
What is nuclear energy? Nuclear energy is the internal energy in the atomic nucleus, that is, the central part of an atom. Atoms are the smallest particles in which a material can be divided. The nucleus of an atom is composed of two subparticles: neutrons and protons. These subparticles are held together due to energy links. At the moment in which these bonds are modified, a large amount of thermal energy is released in the form of heat.
Nuclear technology deals with the use of this internal energy for a wide variety of applications. The most well-known…
The Chernoby nuclear accident was the worst accident in the history of nuclear energy. After 30 years, Chernobyl's current situation remains delicate.
The recovery of the nuclear accident zone and the cleaning products has resulted in a large amount of radioactive waste and contaminated equipment. The generated nuclear waste is stored in about 800 different sites inside and outside the 30 km exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear reactor.
These nuclear waste are partially stored in containers or buried in trenches, which can lead to the risk of contamination of…
The operation of an atomic bomb is similar to the operation of a nuclear reactor, wherein the mass of fuel is well above the critical mass. Initially, the fuel is fragmented, and each of the pieces, enough from the others, so it untreated the critical size; Explosion occurs at closer fragments including sharply.
To increase the performance and efficiency of an atomic bomb to be used practically pure fuels; those used so far have been uranium-235 and plutonium-239. Uranium-235 is difficult and expensive to obtain, because it is not possible to chemically separate it from natural uranium…
Renewable energies are those energies that use an energy or fuel source that is considered inexhaustible or that can be regenerated at the same rate at which it is consumed.
Nuclear energy is not considered a renewable energy source since the fuel used, uranium is not limited. The consumption of nuclear fuel is higher than the generation of natural uranium.
The classification of renewable energies depends on the natural resources that are used. Among them we highlight:
- Solar photovoltaic and thermal energy.
- Wind power.
- Hydraulic energy.…
La escala INES es un instrumento para cuantificar la gravedad de un suceso nuclear y radiológico (ya sean accidentes o incidentes nucleares).
INES son las siglas en inglés de International Nuclear Events Scale (Escala Internacional de Sucesos Nucleares)
The INES scale is used throughout the world to communicate to the public systematic information about the importance of such nuclear and radiological events from the point of view of safety. In the same way that Richter scales are used to quantify the intensity of an earthquake or the Celsius scale…
Nowadays, the main use given to nuclear energy is the generation of electric power. Nuclear power plants are responsible of doing this process. Almost all nuclear power plants in production are using nuclear fission since the nuclear fusion, despite being under development, is currently unfeasible.
The operation of a nuclear power plant is identical to the operation of a thermoelectric power plant working with fossil fuels like coal, oil or gas, except in the way of providing heat to the water for converting this one into steam. In nuclear reactors this process of producing heat is made…
A nuclear power plant is a facility for obtaining electrical energy using nuclear energy.
Its operation is similar to that of a thermal power plant or that of a solar thermal plant: from a source of energy thermodynamics is used to obtain heat, with the heat to get steam and with the steam to drive a turbine that will generate electricity.
The difference between the different types of electrical installations is in the energy source: a nuclear power plant uses the heat released in the nuclear fission reactions of certain atoms, in a thermal power station the heat source (thermal…
A coolant in a nuclear reactor is a liquid or gaseous substance that passes through the reactor core and removes heat from the nuclear fission reaction.
In the double-circuit power reactors, the reactor coolant enters the steam generator, which produces steam that drives the turbines, and in the single-circuit reactors the coolant (steam or gas) can serve as the working fluid of the cycle of the turbine. In research (for example, materials science) and special reactors (for example, in reactors for the accumulation of radioactive isotopes) the coolant only cools the reactor, the…
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 put in contact by means of an electrical conductor we obtain an electric current.
In physics, the electric potential energy, also called electrostatic potential energy, is the potential energy of the electrostatic field. This is an energy that has an electrical charge distribution, and is linked to the force exerted by the field generated by the distribution itself. Together with magnetic energy, the electric potential energy constitutes…
One of the main problems in the use of nuclear energy is the management of nuclear waste as it is very dangerous and difficult to eliminate. What is done with nuclear waste?
Nuclear waste is one of the main problems related to nuclear energy. If these wastes are not treated properly, they are highly hazardous to the population and the environment.
Radioactive waste can be classified according to its physical and chemical characteristics and by its activity.
Classifying them by their activity we have:
- High-level nuclear waste, composed of elements of…
At the moment of analyzing the disadvantages of nuclear energy in the first place, it is necessary to consider the different areas in which nuclear energy is used. The main use of nuclear energy is the generation of electricity. Although electricity production is the most controversial nuclear application, nuclear technology is also used in the military, medical or environmental fields, among others.
One of the advantages of nuclear energy is that it reduces the dependence on thermal power plants and, therefore, the consumption of fossil fuels. However,…
In 2016, gross electricity production in Brazil was 579 TWh, including 381 TWh (66%) of hydroelectric power, 56 TWh (10%) of gas, 51 TWh (9%) of biomass and waste, 34 TWh ( 6%) of wind energy and solar energy, 26 TWh (4%) of coal, 16 TWh (3%) of nuclear and 15 TWh (3%) of oil.
The high dependence on hydroelectric energy leads to a certain climate vulnerability that is driving the policy to reduce dependence on it.
Around 40% of Brazil's electricity is produced by the national system of Eletrobrás a. About 20% of electricity comes from public utilities, and the rest comes…
The pressurized water nuclear reactor is the type of nuclear reactor more used worldwide in the nuclear power plants of generation of electricity. At present, there are more than 230 nuclear reactors in the world made with the pressurized water system. Also known by its abbreviations PW. Its main feature is the use of water under high pressure in the primary circuit to prevent it from boiling.
Within the naval engineering the pressurized water nuclear reactor (PWR) is widely used. In fact, this model was originally designed to be used on a nuclear submarine.
The Chalk River Laboratories or Chalk River Labs and formerly Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories are facilities located near the Chalk River population, Ontario (Canada) dedicated to the investigation of nuclear reactions.
The installation was born in 1942 as a result of the collaboration between British and Canadian nuclear researchers. In 1944 the Chalk River Laboratories were inaugurated and in September 1945 the installation put into operation the first nuclear reactor outside the United States.
The NRX is a research nuclear reactor, moderated by heavy water, cooled by…
The main use of nuclear energy is the generation of electrical energy in nuclear power plants. If, however, you are also familiar with other uses in the civil field. One of them is the applications of nuclear energy related to the environment.
Although the popularity of nuclear energy is very low due to the effects produced in nuclear accidents such as Fukushima or Chernobyl, there are applications of nuclear energy to work in favor of the environment.
In these applications we highlight the following:
- Improve the greenhouse effect problem
The Vandellós I nuclear power plant is a graphite-gas nuclear power plant that began operating in 1972. It was part of the group of first generation nuclear power plants in Spain, formed by the Zorita nuclear power plant, Santa Mª de Garoña and the Vandellós I nuclear power plant. It was owned by the Spanish-French company HIFRENSA (Hispano-Francesa de Electricidad).
The nuclear power plant had 480 megawatts (MW) of power. So far the Spanish nuclear power plants were refrigerated and moderated by water. The Vandellós plant, on the other hand, was cooled by gas and its nuclear reaction…
The Davis-Besse nuclear power plant is located on the shore of Lake Erie near Oak Harbor, in the state of Ohio in the United States. The nuclear facility has a single nuclear reactor.
This is the 57th commercial power reactor built in the United States although it was the 50th to get going. Construction of the plant began on 1 September 1970.
The nuclear reactor is pressurized water type with a power output of 873 MWe power. Nuclear Incidents in the Davis Besse nuclear power plant
Of the 5 nuclear incidents in the United States, two of them have occurred in the nuclear…