Nuclear Power Plant Isar, Germany

Spent nuclear fuel pool

Turbine of a nuclear plant

Fuel

Nuclear reactor

Nuclear reactor

A nuclear reactor is an installation capable of initiating, controlling and maintaining nuclear reactions (usually nuclear fission) chain that occur in the core of this facility.

The composition of the nuclear reactor is formed by the nuclear fuel, coolant, control elements, structural materials and, in the case in question a thermal nuclear reactor, the moderator.

Nuclear reactors can be classified as thermal reactors and fast reactors.

Thermal reactors are those which function by delaying (moderating) the fastest neutrons or increasing the proportion of fissile atoms.…

Nuclear fuel

Nuclear fuel

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…

Advantages and disadvantages of nuclear power

Advantages and disadvantages of nuclear power

In this section we analyze the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear power. Nevertheless, most organizations related to nuclear energy are already positioned for or against the use of nuclear power. 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.

Advantages of nuclear power

The generation of electricity through nuclear energy reduces the amount of energy generated from fossil fuels (coal and oil). Less use of fossil fuels means lowering…

Plutonium

Plutonium

Plutonium is a chemical element with symbol Pu and atomic number 94 which belongs to the actinide series of elements. Plutonium has 16 isotopes, all radioactive. The element is a silvery metal and has 5 different crystal structures.

Chemically plutonium is a very active material. You can form compounds with all nonmetals except the noble gases. The metal dissolves in acidic and reacts with water, but only moderately in comparison with the acid.

While you can find traces in nature, all isotopes of plutonium are of artificial origin.

Radioactivity plutonium

The more…

Types of nuclear reactors

We distinguish two types of nuclear reactors

  • Nuclear research reactors. This type of reactors used neutrons generated during nuclear fission reactions to produce radioisotopes that are going to be used in other applications of nuclear energy or materials for studies.
  • Nuclear power reactors. These reactors are based on the use of the thermal energy generated in the fission reactions. The main and most known application of this type of reactor is to generate electricity in nuclear power plants. However, also they are used for desalination…

Nuclear fuel definition

Nuclear fuel definition

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.

Production processes…

Fukushima nuclear accident

Fukushima nuclear accident

On March 11, 2011 in Fukushima occurred one of the worst nuclear accidents in history after the Chernobyl nuclear accident.

A 8.9 magnitude earthquake off the northwest coast of Japan and a subsequent tsunami severely affected Dahiichi Fukushima nuclear plant on the northeast coast of Japan.

At the time of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima reactors had 6. Reactors 1, 2 and 3 were operating while nuclear reactors 4, 5 and 6 were unemployed for maintenance.

After the earthquake Fukushima reactors that were still running is automatically stopped. To cool the reactors,…

Atomic Energy

Atomic Energy

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,…

Boiling water nuclear reactor

Boiling water nuclear reactor

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…

Definition of energy

Definition of energy

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…

Brown's Ferry Nuclear Power Plant, USA

Brown's Ferry Nuclear Power Plant, USA

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…

Nuclear power station of Vandellós II

Nuclear power station of Vandellós II

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…

Trillo nuclear power plant, Spain

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…

Gas cooled reactor

Gas cooled reactor

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 refrigerant 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…

Nuclear power in India

Nuclear power in India

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…

History of nuclear energy

History of nuclear energy

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.

Accident treatment plant Tokaimura nuclear fuel

The treatment plant is uranium fuel in Tokaimura (Japan), 120km northeast of Tokyo, in Ibaraki Prefecture. Property is currently owned by JCO Company.

The nuclear accident at the facility took place on September 30, 1999, in the building of the plant conversion.

The installation consists of three auxiliary buildings uranium conversion:

  • One with an annual capacity of 220 tons of uranium per year for low-enriched (about 5%).
  • Another with an annual capacity of 495 tons of uranium per year for low-enriched (less than 5%).
  • Another, who had the accident,…

Nuclear accidents

Nuclear accidents

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…

Atomic bomb

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…

Nuclear power in Mexico

Nuclear power in Mexico

Mexico is rich in hydrocarbon resources and is a net exporter of energy. Country's interest in nuclear energy is based on the need to reduce their dependence on these sources of energy. In recent years, Mexico's energy is increasingly dependent on natural gas.

The energy growth was very rapid in the 1990s, but then stabilized for a few years. Since 2007 expected new growth in demand for electricity to an average rate of almost 6% per year. In 2007, we generated 257 million kWh. Supply Origin is varied electric, gas 126 TWh (49%), oil of 52 TWh (20%), coal 32 TWh (12.5%) and hydroelectric…

Nuclear Power Plant

Nuclear Power Plant

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…

Chemical energy

Chemical energy

Chemical energy is the potential of a chemical to undergo a transformation through a chemical reaction or to transform into other chemicals. 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.

The internal energy change of a process is equal to the change…

Electric power

Electric power

We define electrical energy 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…

Nuclear waste

Nuclear waste

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…

Nuclear energy in Brazil

Nuclear energy in Brazil

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…

Pressurized Water Reactors

Pressurized Water Reactors

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.

Pressurized water…

Current situation in Chernobyl

Current situation in Chernobyl

The recovery of the accident area and cleaning products has resulted in a large amount of radioactive waste and contaminated equipment, stored at about 800 different sites inside and outside the 30 km exclusion zone around the nuclear reactor 4 from Chernobyl.

These nuclear wastes are partially stored in containers or buried in trenches, which may lead to a risk of contamination of groundwater.

The sarcophagus and the proliferation of waste storage sites have been assessed as a source of hazardous radioactivity in nearby areas, and some NEA experts feared that the sinking of the…

Nuclear power in Argentina

Electricity consumption in Argentina has grown strongly since 1990. Per capita consumption was just over 2,000 kWh / year in 2002 and increased to over 2,600 kWh / year in 2007. Gross production of electricity in 2007 was 115 million kWh, 54% from gas, 27% hydro, 9.4% oil, a 2.2% from coal, and 6.3% (7.2 million kWh) of nuclear origin. In 2008, nuclear energy provides more than 6.8 million kWh of electricity - about 6.2% of total electricity generation.

In Argentina, the electricity production is largely privatized, and is regulated by the ENRE (National Regulatory Authority for Electricity).…

Chalk River Nuclear Accident

The Chalk River Laboratories Chalk River Labs and formerly called Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories is a facility located near Chalk River, Ontario (Canada) population engaged in the research of nuclear reactions.

The installation was born in 1942 as a result of the collaboration between the British and Canadian nuclear research. In 1944 Chalk River Laboratories were inaugurated in September 1945 and 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…

Operation of a nuclear power plant

Operation of a nuclear power plant

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 operating with 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 by the fission…

Nuclear power plant of Vandellós I

Nuclear power plant of Vandellós I

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…

Davis Besse nuclear power plant-1, Ohio, United States

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…