ULTRA COLLEGE OF ENGG&TECH FOR WOMEN
Most nuclear electricity is generated using just two kinds of reactors which were developed in the 1950s and improved since.
New designs are coming forward and some are in operation as the first generation reactors come to the end of their operating lives.
Over 16% of the world's electricity is produced from nuclear energy, more than from all sources worldwide in 1960.
A nuclear reactor produces and controls the release of energy from splitting the atoms of certain elements. In a nuclear power reactor, the energy released is used as heat to make steam to generate electricity. (In a research reactor the main purpose is to utilise the actual neutrons produced in the core. In most naval reactors, steam drives a turbine directly for propulsion.)
The principles for using nuclear power to produce electricity are the same for most types of reactor. The energy released from continuous fission of the atoms of the fuel is harnessed as heat in either a gas or water, and is used to produce steam. The steam is used to drive the turbines which produce electricity (as in most fossil fuel plants).
Components of a nuclear reactor
There are several components common to most types of reactors:
Fuel. Usually pellets of uranium oxide (UO2) arranged in tubes to form fuel rods. The rods are arranged into fuel assemblies in the reactor core.*
* In a new reactor with new fuel a neutron source is needed to get the reaction going. Usually this is beryllium mixed with polonium, radium or other alpha-emitter. Alpha particles from the decay cause a release of neutrons from the beryllium as it turns to carbon-12. Restarting a reactor with some used fuel may not require this, as there may be enough neutrons to achieve criticality when control rods are removed. ... [continues]
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(2010, 11). Nuclear Reactor&Applications of Solar and Wind Energy. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 11, 2010, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Nuclear-Reactor-Applications-Of-Solar-And-Wind-482586.html
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