Nuclear Power Plant Isar, Germany

Spent nuclear fuel pool

Turbine of a nuclear plant

Steam

Steam turbine

Steam turbine

A steam turbine is a machine that exploits the thermal energy of steam under pressure, converting it into useful mechanical energy through a thermodynamic transformation of expansion. Specifically, the steam turbine converts the internal energy of the vapor into kinetic energy of rotation.

The steam turbine, thanks to the highest thermal efficiency and the best power / weight ratio, has completely replaced the steam engine, which was an alternative engine invented by Thomas Newcomen and then significantly improved by James Watt.

From a thermodynamic point of view, the maximum…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Mechanical energy

Mechanical energy

Mechanical energy can be defined as the ability to produce a mechanical work that a body possesses due to causes of mechanical origin, such as its position or its speed. There are two forms of mechanical energy that are kinetic energy and potential energy.

The mechanical energy of a body is the sum of its kinetic energy and its potential energy. Mechanical energy can be partially transformed into other types of energy, such as electrical energy (in a ventilator), and can be obtained by transforming other energies, such as chemical energy (in a person who walks).

The kinetic energy…

Beaver Valley-1 nuclear power plant, USA

Beaver Valley-1 nuclear power plant, USA

The Beaver Valley nuclear power plant is a nuclear power plant that produces electricity on the Ohio River in the city of Shippingport, in the county of Beaver, in the western corner of Pennsylvania, USA. The last two nuclear reactors of the nuclear power plant were approved for commissioning in 1975 and 1986, while the previous 1957 Atomic Energy Station for Vessels was permanently closed in 1982. The original work was the first power plant nuclear in the United States.

The two facilities are located in the same place on the Ohio River. The maximum installed power in the current plant…

Chernobyl nuclear accident

Chernobyl nuclear accident

The nuclear accident in Chernobyl (1986) is by far the most serious nuclear accident in the history of nuclear energy. It was classified as level 7 (severe nuclear accident) of the INES scale, the highest value. Although it is the same level at the Fukushima nuclear accident was classified, the consequences of the Chernobyl accident were still far worse.

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant is located near the town of Prypyat, 18km from the city of Chernobyl.

At the time of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident provided 4 reactors in operation and two more were under construction.