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Nuclear Power Summer 2010


nuclear power lecture …

nuclear power lecture
given to undergraduates for summer program at TINT
8 April 2010
Bangkok, Thailand

Published in Education
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  • 1. Nuclear Power: a Global Look Roppon Picha Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology
  • 2. Nuclear power is currently our most potent energy source. & a clean energy solution for today and tomorrow.
  • 3. Basic human needs: Food, air, water, energy
  • 4. How much energy?
  • 5. The Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old. (from radiometric dating of mineral samples.) 2,000 years ago, there are 10 million people. 1,000 years later: 300 millions Today: 6.7 billions.
  • 6. (data: United Nations, U.S. Census Bureau)
  • 7. (OECD/IEA World Energy Outlook 2004)
  • 8. Nuclear energy is due to two important discoveries: neutron by James Chadwick in 1932 and uranium in 1789 by Martin Heinrich Klaproth.
  • 9. Fission reaction 235 n+ U → X + Y + n’s
  • 10. Fission In 1939, Hahn, Strassmann, Meitner, and Frisch discovered that neutron can split uranium. 92 → 56 Fission coined. Energy release 200 MeV per reaction.
  • 11. Fission ∼ 70 years after it was discovered, nuclear fission is now responsible for 1/6 the total energy produced around the world. Mochovce power plant, Slovakia
  • 12. First nuclear reactor In 1942, Enrico Fermi and his team built the World’s first nuclear fission reactor in a squash court of University of Chicago. The atomic pile was called Chicago Pile No. 1. Enrico Fermi (1901–1954)
  • 13. The first man-made self-sustaining chain reactions went on for 28 minutes on 2 Dec 1942 (3:25–3:53 p.m.).
  • 14. The pile consisted of uranium pellets as fuel, and graphite blocks as moderator. Cadmium coated rods were used to absorb extra neutrons, dampening the reaction.
  • 15. Chicago Pile 1 The energy of the atom’s nucleus was first unleashed.
  • 16. Fuel choices U-235 is fissile Fermi: U-238 is fertile → breed Pu-239 (fissile) at fast n energies → EBR-I (Experimental Breeder Reactor-I) U-233 is also fissile. Can be bred from Th-232.
  • 17. First four nuclear bulbs (@ EBR-I, Idaho Falls, USA, Dec 1951) USS Nautilus: first nuclear submarine (1953)
  • 18. Research: generate neutrons from fission. Low power level (1–10 MW). Neutron flux is in the order of 1013 n/cm2 /s. Research reactor at TINT, in Bangkok, Thailand
  • 19. Power: generate electricity from kinetic energy of fission fragments Power reactor in Leibstadt, Switzerland
  • 20. The world needs electricity for development.
  • 21. Only 2% of African rural people have access to national power grid.
  • 22. 1.6 billion people are without access to electricity (24.4%) (IEA, World Energy Outlook 2006)
  • 23. Carbon Mitigation Initiative Collaboration between Princeton University, BP, and Ford Motor Company Mission: To find solutions to the greenhouse gas problem.
  • 24. CMI’s 4 strategies 1. Increase the energy efficiency of our cars, homes, and power plants while lowering our consumption by adjusting our thermostats and driving fewer miles.
  • 25. CMI’s 4 strategies 2. Capture the carbon emitted by power plants and store it underground.
  • 26. CMI’s 4 strategies 3. Halt deforestation and soil degradation worldwide, while reforesting more areas. 1 CO2 +H2 O → C6 H12 O6 +O2 6 (photosynthesis)
  • 27. CMI’s 4 strategies 4. Produce more energy from nuclear and renewable fuelssolar, wind, hydroelectric, and bio-fuels. Bellville NPP, France [ c Areva]
  • 28. Coming Clean: The Truth and Future of Coal in the Asia-Pacific (World Wild Fund for Nature)
  • 29. “Estimated radiation doses ingested by people living near the coal plants were equal to or higher than doses for people living around the nuclear facilities.” Hvistendahl, M. (2007). Coal Ash Is More Radioactive than Nuclear Waste. Retrieved October 14, 2009, from Scientific American Web site: radioactive-than-nuclear-waste McBride, J. P. et al. (1978). Radiological Impact of Airborne Effluents of Coal and Nuclear Plants. Science, 202(4372), 1045–1050. ash = bottom ash + fly ash fly ash (U, Th) → escapes to environment
  • 30. Asia: countries operating NPP’s under construction Pakistan 2 1 China 11 21 India 18 5 S. Korea 20 6 Japan 54 1 (data: IAEA, Feb 2010)
  • 31. Japan: 54 That’s third most in the world.
  • 32. Korea Seoul during Korean War (1950) At the end of WWII (1945), power generation capacity in Korea: North 88.5%, South 11.5%. Korean War (1950–1953) put Korea in total destruction.
  • 33. (eryoni@flickr) First nuclear power in South Korea: 20 July 1978 (Kori-1 reactor). Today (Mar 2010) nuclear electricity is almost 40% of total.
  • 34. Uranium Uranium is one of the most abundant elements found in the Earth’s crust. It can be found almost everywhere in soil and rock, in rivers and oceans.
  • 35. 235U is the only natural isotope which is fissionable by thermal neutrons.
  • 36. World’s largest high-graded uranium deposit: McArthur River, Canada. World’s known uranium is estimated to be about 5.5 Mt (source: OECD NEA & IAEA, Uranium 2007: Resources, Production, and Demand)
  • 37. Another important source of fuel is the nuclear weapon stockpiles in the USA and countries of the former Soviet Russia. These weapons contain highly enriched uranium. Future reprocessing technology will further increase uranium usage efficiency.
  • 38. Uranium deposits (Uranium 2005: Resources, Production and Demand, OECD/IAEA)
  • 39. Uranium Samples from drilling during uranium exploration ( c : Cameco)
  • 40. Yellowcake Yellowcake is the uranium compound mostly consisting of triuranium octaoxide (U3 O8 ), and some uranium dioxide (UO2 ) and uranium trioxide (UO3 ).
  • 41. n + U → U∗
  • 42. Neutron cross section
  • 43. Uranium enrichment Only 0.7% of natural uranium is 235 U, the fissile isotope. Higher concentration (of around 3–5%) is required in a nuclear reactor. There are mainly two enrichment processes, both using UF6 . 1. gaseous diffusion 2. gas centrifuge under development: laser enrichment (photoexcitation of isotopes)
  • 44. Fuel and spent fuel Level of enrichment of reactor fuel is much less than that of nuclear weapon (over 85% enriched). They serve different purposes. Highly enriched uranium billet (US DoE)
  • 45. Fuel pellets UF6 is typically converted back to UO2 solid, compressed into pellets.
  • 46. Fuel A typical pellet of uranium weighs about 7 grams. It can generate energy equivalent to 3.5 barrels of oil, 480 m3 of natural gas, or 800 kg of coal.
  • 47. Fuel The uranium is encased in ceramic. The fissile isotopes must be densely packed so that the chain reaction can sustain itself.
  • 48. Fuel pellets are packed inside zirconium tubes (resistant to radiation, heat, and corrosion). The rods are bundled together into an assembly.
  • 49. For most reactors, high energy neutrons are moderated by water.
  • 50. Capture, Excitation, Deformation
  • 51. U-235 mass split: heavy/light ∼ 1.4
  • 52. where does the Energy come from?
  • 53. Kinetic energy of fission fragments heat up the water.
  • 54. Conversion reactors Converters or conversion reactors are designed to convert material that is not fissionable (but “fertile”) with thermal neutrons to one that is. 23 min 238 U+n → 239 U −−→ −− 239 Np + β − + ν ¯ 2.3 d 239 Np − − −→ 239 Pu + β − + ν ¯ 22min 232 Th + n → 233 Th − − −→ 233 Pa + β − + ν ¯ 27 d 233 Pa − → − 233 U + β− + ν ¯
  • 55. Fast breeder reactors
  • 56. Current reactors Most power reactors use normal water as moderator and coolant. (Nuclear Engineering International Handbook 2007)
  • 57. Control room Reactor operators must go through intensive certification process.
  • 58. Operators must be trained and licensed: • reactor theory • thermodynamics • plant components • design and operation • emergency response Each reactor type (PWR, BWR, and others) has a different training program.
  • 59. Interactions Ranked by characteristic length: γ ∼ n > e− > hcp Characteristic energy deposition of hcp: Bragg’s peak Coulomb forces lead to continuous excitation and ionization of medium. Neutrons and gamma can penetrate far due to lack of electric charge.
  • 60. Shielding Penetration of radiation depends on its stopping power (specific energy loss). dE S=− dx For charged particles, S increases as velocity decreases. Bragg curve.
  • 61. Shielding Even in air, the energetic alphas can travel for only several cm. R (cm) = 0.56E (MeV) for E < 4 MeV R (cm) = 1.24E − 2.62 (MeV) for 4 < E < 8 MeV For medium of mass number A, R (mg/cm2 ) = 0.56A1/3 Rair (Cember, H., Introduction to Health Physics, McGraw-Hill, 1996)
  • 62. α’s and β’s are easy to protect against. Just paper or plastic is fine.
  • 63. Shielding The concerns of radiation are mostly related to highly penetrating radiation such as gamma rays and neutrons. Gamma rays are electromagnetic wave. Its interaction strength depends on the charge number (Z ) of the material. Neutrons are neutral. Must be slowed down via direct collisions.
  • 64. Shielding High-Z materials can be used to effectively shield γ-rays. Main interactions are • Photoelectric absorption • Compton scattering • Pair production
  • 65. Absorption coefficient in Pb H. A. Enge Introduction to nuclear physics (1966)
  • 66. High-Z materials are good for shielding γ-rays.
  • 67. Neutrons cross sections are very energy dependent. Hydrogen-rich medium can be used to slow down neutrons. Then thermal neutrons can be absorbed by materials with high neutron capture cross section such as boron or cadmium.
  • 68. Storage pool in an interim storage facility at Oskarshamn, Sweden (Image: SKB; Photographer: Curt-Robert Lindqvist)
  • 69. Vitrification into borosilicate glass (mixture of SiO2 and B2 O3 ) is used to contain high-level waste from nuclear reactors. Pictured is the amount of high-level waste due to nuclear electricity generation in one person’s lifetime.
  • 70. A knife can cut, can decorate, can kill. Fire can cook, can warm, can burn.
  • 71. First X-ray image (1895) Frau Roentgen’s hand
  • 72. Any use for radioactive stuff from the nuclear reactor?
  • 73. Reactor isotopes • iodine-131 (t1/2 = 8.0 d) and iodine-132 (t1/2 = 2.3 h): thyroid cancer treatment and diagnosis • iridium-192 (74 d): internal radiotherapy, gamma radiography • molybdenum-99 (66 h): used as source of technetium-99m (6 h) • cobalt-60 (5.3 y): external radiotherapy, industrial radiography • dysprosium-165 (2 h): treatment of arthritis Radiotherapy @ Cancer Hospital, Kostanai, Kazakhstan ( c Samuel C. Blackman)
  • 74. How do people respond to nuclear for therapy?
  • 75. Waterford, Ireland (2006)
  • 76. Mini break Who discovered the proton?
  • 77. Operating reactors (IAEA, Feb 2010)
  • 78. ∼ 76% of electricity in France comes from nuclear (year 2008, IAEA)
  • 79. 56 new reactors are being constructed (Feb 2010).
  • 80. Advanced designs Generation 3+ reactors are being built around the world. They have simpler designs, are more fuel efficient, produce less waste, and have enhanced safety. Some of these are: • Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR), by General Electrics (GE) Nuclear Energy (approved May 1997) • System 80+, by Westinghouse (May 1997). Not actively marketed. • AP600, by Westinghouse (Dec 1999) and AP1000, by Westinghouse (Dec 2005) • EPR, by Areva NP
  • 81. EPR Olkiluoto 3: First Gen-3+ reactor built
  • 82. PBMR PBMR fuel pebbles
  • 83. PBMR PBMR uses He coolant and graphite moderator.
  • 84. Fusion From n + 235 U to D + T .
  • 85. Fusion More difficult due to Coulomb repulsion. High temperature environment is required. exercise: Estimate potential energy between two hydrogen nuclei at distance 10 fm apart.
  • 86. Fusion D+T →α+n Q = 17.6 MeV: α (3.5) + n (14.1) other reactions (much lower cross sections): D + D → 3 He + n (Q = 3.3 MeV) → T +H (4.0 MeV) D +3 He → 4 He + H (18.3 MeV)
  • 87. Various power sources are used to spark the gas and discharge it into plasma. Must know how to control plasmas long enough for fusion to break even. Plasma discharge in ASDEX tokamak (Germany)
  • 88. Magnetically confined plasma: National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) in Princeton
  • 89. NSTX: Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, Oak Ridge Lab, Columbia U., U. of Washington at Seattle D+D fusion First plasma: 12 Feb 1999
  • 90. ITER: Gas heated to over 100 million K. Plasma density ∼ 1020 m−3 . 500 MW of fusion power (non-electricity).
  • 91. ITER: Future tokamak Location: Cadarache, France Expecting first plasma by 2016
  • 92. Conceptual fusion power plant (EFDA)
  • 93. International collaborations GNEP: Global Nuclear Energy Partnership
  • 94. International collaborations
  • 95. International collaborations
  • 96. For countries without a nuclear power plant, the first step is the hardest step. People must have strong determination and responsibilities. Once an NPP is built, the country will develop more. Everybody starts from zero.
  • 97. Thanks.