What is nuclear
Nuclear energy is a powerful source
of energy, generated during a
nuclear reaction, by change in the
nucleus of an atom. The source of
nuclear energy is the mass of the
nucleus and energy generated
during a nuclear reaction is due to
conversion of mass into energy
TWO WAYS TO OBTAIN
1. Nuclear fission
2. Nuclear fusion
Nuclear fission reaction, the nucleus of
a heavy radioactive element like uranium,
plutonium or thorium splits up into smaller
nuclei, when bombarded by low energy
neutrons. A huge amount of heat is
generated in this process, which is used
in nuclear power plants to generate
Nuclear fusion reaction involves the combination
or fusion of two light elements to form a heavier
element and release uncontrollable energy. Thus it
cannot be used to generate electricity, unlike
fission reaction. Did you know that the sun’s
energy is generated by nuclear fusion reaction?
The heat and light that we get from Sun, is all due
to the continuous reactions going on inside it. We
can now imagine how much energy would be
released in the nuclear fusion reaction, that it is
the source of sun’s energy
Nuclear power is the use of sustained
nuclear fission to generate heat and
electricity. Nuclear power plants provide
about 5.7% of the world's energy and 13% of
the world's electricity.
There were 439 nuclear power reactors in
operation in the world, operating in
Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy
contend that nuclear power is a sustainable
energy source that reduces carbon
Just as many conventional thermal power
stations generate electricity by harnessing the
thermal energy released from burning fossil
fuels, nuclear power plants convert the energy
released from the nucleus of an atom via
nuclear fission that takes place in a nuclear
The heat is removed from the reactor core by a
cooling system that uses the heat to generate
steam, which drives a steam turbine connected
to a generator producing electricity.
A nuclear reactor is only part of the life-cycle
for nuclear power. The process starts with
mining (see Uranium mining). Uranium
mines are underground, open-pit, or in-situ
The uranium ore is extracted, usually
converted into a stable and compact form
such as yellowcake, and then transported to
a processing facility. The yellowcake is
converted to uranium hexafluoride, which is
then enriched using various techniques
The fuel rods will spend about 3 operational
they will be moved
to a spent fuel pool
where the short lived
isotopes generated by
fission can decay away.
After about 5 years in a
spent fuel pool the spent
fuel is radioactively and
thermally cool enough to
handle, and it can be
moved to dry storage
casks or reprocessed.
Uranium is a fairly common element in the
Earth's crust. Uranium is approximately as
common as tin or germanium in Earth's
crust, and is about 40 times more common
Uranium is a constituent of most rocks, dirt,
and of the oceans. The fact that uranium is
so spread out is a problem because mining
uranium is only economically feasible where
there is a large concentration.
The cost of nuclear power lies for the most
part in the construction of the power station.
Therefore the fuel's contribution to
the overall cost of the electricity
produced is relatively small, so even
a large fuel price escalation will
have relatively little effect on final
Almost 0 emissions (very low greenhouse
They can be sited almost anywhere unlike oil
which is mostly imported.
The plants almost never experience
problems if not from human error, which
almost never happens anyway because the
plant only needs like 10 people to operate it.
A small amount of matter creates a large
amount of energy.
A lot of energy is generated from a single
power plant. Current nuclear waste in the US
Modern reactors have two to ten times
more efficiency than the old generation
reactors currently in use around the US.
New reactor types have been designed to
make it physically impossible to melt down.
As the core gets hotter the reaction gets
slower, hence a run-away reaction leading
to a melt-down is not possible.
Nuclear plants are more
expensive to build and maintain.
Waste products are dangerous
and need to be carefully stored for
long periods of time. The spent
fuel is highly radioactive and has
to be carefully stored for many
years or decades after use. This
adds to the costs.
There is presently no adequate
safe long-term storage for
radioactive and chemical waste
Nuclear power plants can be dangerous to its
surroundings and employees. It would cost a lot
to clean in case of spillages.
There exist safety concerns if the plant is not
operated correctly or conditions arise that were
unforeseen when the plant was developed, as
happened at the Fukushima plant in Japan.
nuclear plants can render hundreds of square
miles of land uninhabitable and unsuitable for any
use for years, decades or longer, and kill off
entire river systems .
A lot of waste from early reactors was stored in
containers meant for only a few decades, but is
Nuclear power is the fourth-largest source of
electricity in India after thermal, hydroelectric
and renewable sources of electricity.
As of 2012, India has 20 nuclear reactors in
operation in six nuclear power plants,
generating 4,780 MW while seven other
reactors are under construction and are
expected to generate an additional
India has been making advances in the field of
thorium-based fuels, working to design and
develop a prototype for an atomic reactor.
The country has also recently re-initiated
its involvement in the LENR research
activities , in addition to supporting work
done in the fusion power area through
the ITER initiative.
Using thorium and low-enriched
uranium, a key part of India's three
stage nuclear power programme .
HISTORY OF NUCLEAR
ENERGY IN INDIA
India emerged as a free and democratic
country in 1947, and entered into the nuclear
age in 1948 by establishing the Atomic
Energy Commission (AEC), with Homi
Bhabha as the chairman. Later on the
Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) was
created under the Office of the Prime Minister
Jawahar Lal Nehru. Initially the AEC and DAE
received international cooperation, and by
1963 India had two research reactors and
four nuclear power reactors.
In spite of the humiliating defeat in the border
On May 18, 1974 India performed a 15 kt
Peaceful Nuclear Explosion (PNE).
The western powers considered it nuclear
weapons proliferation and cut off all financial
and technical help, even for the production of
nuclear power. However, India used existing
infrastructure to build nuclear power reactors
and exploded both fission and fusion devices
on May 11 and 13, 1998.
The international community viewed the
later activity as a serious road block for the
Non-Proliferation Treaty and the
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty; both
deemed essential to stop the spread of
nuclear weapons. India considers these
treaties favoring nuclear states and is
prepared to sign if genuine nuclear