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…

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Nuclear Power Plant Working

Nuclear Power Plant Working

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…

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Boiling Water Reactor (BWR)

Boiling Water Reactor (BWR)

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…

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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…

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Types Of Nuclear Reactors

Types Of Nuclear Reactors

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…

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Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR)

Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR)

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…

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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…

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Electricity Generation

Electricity Generation

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…

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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…

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Nuclear reactor coolant

Nuclear reactor coolant

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…

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Nuclear Power in France

Nuclear Power in France

In 1974 the French government made the decision to rapidly expand the nuclear power production capacity in France just after the first oil crisis. This decision was made in the context of a France with substantial competence in engineering, but with few autochthonous energy resources. Nuclear energy, with the cost of fuel is a relatively small part of the total cost, in this sense a reduction in imports was achieved and greater energy security was achieved.

As a result of the 1974 decision, France currently has a significant level of energy independence and almost the lowest…

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Nuclear Power in Mexico

Nuclear Power in Mexico

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…

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Uses of Nuclear Technology

Uses of Nuclear Technology

The main use of nuclear energy is the production of electrical energy. Nuclear power plants are responsible for generating electricity. Nuclear fission reactions are generated in the nuclear reactors of the nuclear power plants. With these reactions, thermal energy is obtained that will be transformed into mechanical energy and later into electrical energy.

However, there are many other uses in which nuclear energy is used directly or indirectly.

Working with different isotopes of the same element, you can use nuclear technology for other uses in various fields:

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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.

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