BIBLIOGRAPHY</li></li></ul><li>INTRODUCTION<br />Nuclear power is energy which is produced with the use of a controlled nuclear reaction. Many nations use nuclear power plants to generate electricity for both civilian and military use, and some nations also utilize nuclear power to run parts of their naval fleets, especially submarines. Some people favor an expansion of nuclear power plants because this form of energy is considered cleaner than fossil fuels such as coal, although nuclear power comes with a number of problems which must be addressed, including the safe disposal of radioactive waste products.<br />The process of generation nuclear power starts with the mining and processing of uranium and other radioactive elements. These elements are used to feed the reactor of a nuclear power plant, generating a reaction known as fission which creates intense heat, turning water in the plant into steam. The steam powers steam turbines, which generate electricity and feed the electricity into the electrical grid.<br />When nuclear power is used to power something like a submarine, the reactor runs the engines, with the steam directly powering the engines. In both cases, the reactor requires careful supervision, because runaway nuclear reactions must be stopped as quickly as possible to prevent serious problems. Many nuclear power plants have extensive automated systems which help to identify potential trouble spots, and these systems can also re-routepower , turn off parts of the plant, and perform other tasks which make the plant safer and cleaner.<br />
Nuclear energy originates from the splitting of uranium atoms in a process called fission. At the power plant, the fission process is used to generate heat for producing steam, which is used by a turbine to generate electricity.<br />Nuclear energy originates from the splitting of uranium atoms in a process called fission. At the power plant, the fission process is used to generate heat for producing steam, which is used by a turbine to generate electricity.<br />Nuclear energy originates from the splitting of uranium atoms in a process called fission. At the power plant, the fission process is used to generate heat for producing steam, which is used by a turbine to generate electricity.<br />
Current status of the Indian nuclear power programme<br />Among the best performing in the world<br />Largest number of reactors under construction in any country in the world today<br />Stage - III<br />Thorium Based Reactors<br /><ul><li>30 kWth KAMINI- Oper.
Remember that fission has 2 s’s, therefore it splits into TWO parts.
Only large nuclei with atomic numbers above 90 can undergo fission.
Products of fission reaction usually include two or three individual neutrons, the total mass of the product is somewhat less than the mass of Uranium-235.</li></li></ul><li>FORMATION<br /><ul><li>A chain reaction is an ongoing series of fission reactions. Billions of reactions occur each second in a chain reaction.
On earth, nuclear fission reactions take place in nuclear reactors, which use controlled chain reactions to generate electricity.
Uncontrolled chain reactions take place during the explosion of an atomic bomb.</li></li></ul><li>FORMATION<br /><ul><li>Nuclear fusion is the combining of two nuclei with low masses to form one nucleus of larger mass.
Nuclear fusion reactions are also called thermonuclear reactions.
Our sun is a good example of a thermonuclear (fusion) reaction.
It is almost impossible to create fusion reactions on earth since they need temperatures above one million degrees Celsius in order to take place.
Nuclear fusion produces less nuclear waste than nuclear fission and the materials are easier to obtain.</li></li></ul><li>CO$T AND T!ME<br />Cost of Nuclear Power.<br />The cost of generating power via nuclear energy can be separated into the following components:<br /><ul><li>The construction cost of building the plant.
The operating cost of running the plant and generating energy.
The cost of decommissioning the plant.</li></li></ul><li>CO$T AND T!ME<br />Construction Costs:<br />Construction costs are very difficult to quantify but dominate the cost of Nuclear Power. The main difficulty is that third generation power plants now proposed are claimed to be both substantially cheaper and faster to construct than the second generation power plants now in operation throughout the world. The Nuclear Industry says its learned the lessons of economy-of-volume demonstrated by the French Nuclear Program, and that these will be employed for the new power plants.<br />Operating Costs:<br />These costs are much easier to quantify and are independently verified as they relate directly to the profitability of the Utilities which operate them. Any discrepancies are soon discovered through accounting audits. Company's that operate the USA's nuclear power reactors have made excellent profits over the last five years. The US Nuclear Power industry has at last lived up to its promise made in in 1970's to produce electricity reliably and cheaply. Since 1987 the cost of producing electricity from has decreased from 3.63 cents per KWHr to 1.68 cents per KWHr in 2004 and plant availability has increased from 67% to over 90%. The operating cost includes a charge of 0.2 cents per KW-Hr to fund the eventual disposal of waste from the reactor and for decommissioning the reactor. The price of Uranium Ore contributes approximately 0.05 cents per KWHr.<br />
CO$T AND T!ME<br />Waste Disposal:<br />In the USA, Nuclear Power operators are charged 0.1 cents per KW-Hr for the disposal of Nuclear Waste. In Sweden this cost is 0.13 US cents per KW-Hr. These Countries have utilized these funds to pursue research into Geologic disposal of waste and both now have mature proposals for the task. In France the cost of waste disposal and decommissioning is estimated to be 10% of the construction cost. So far provisions of 71 billion Euros have been acquired for this from the sale of electricity.<br />Decommissioning Costs:<br />The US industry average cost for decommissioning a power plant is USD $300 million. The funds for this activity are accumulated in the operating cost of the plant. The French and Swedish Nuclear Industries expect decommissioning costs to be 10 -15 % of the construction costs and budget this into the price charged for electricity. On the other hand the British decommissioning costs have been projected to be around 1 Billion pounds per reactor. Cleaning up the Hanford Nuclear Weapons reactor is budgeted at 5.6 Billion dollars but may cost 2 to 3 times this much.<br />
CO$T AND T!ME<br />Nuclear power: a dangerous waste of time<br />Hazardous for hundreds <br />of thousands of years <br />Nuclear waste is categorised according to both its level of <br />radioactivity and how long it remains hazardous. The International <br />Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) estimates that, every year, the nuclear <br />energy industry produces the equivalent of about 1 million barrels <br />(200,000m3) of what it considers ‘Low and Intermediate-Level Waste’ <br />(LILW) and about 50,000 barrels (10,000m3) of the even more dangerous ‘High-Level Waste’ (HLW).3These numbers do not even include spent nuclear fuel, which is a high-level waste too.<br />
CO$T AND T!ME<br />Accidents:<br />A complex and uncontainable risk<br />On 26 April 1986, an accident at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in the <br />Ukraine caused a meltdown in the reactor, resulting in the release of <br />more radioactivity than that spread when the atom bombs were <br />dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Chernobyl is marked in history <br />as the world’s worst civilian nuclear disaster. During the disaster, 56 <br />people died and about 600,000 people were exposed to significant <br />levels of radiation. Radioactive contamination spread to places as far <br />away as Lapland and Scotland. Hundreds of thousands of <br />people in contaminated regions had to abandon their homes<br />No solution to radioactive waste:<br />Some spent nuclear fuel is reprocessed, which means that <br />plutonium and unused uranium are separated out from other waste, <br />with the intention to reuse it in nuclear power plants. A limited <br />number of countries – France, Russia and the UK – conduct <br />reprocessing on a commercial scale. Consequently, dangerous <br />nuclear waste and separated plutonium are repeatedly transported <br />across oceans and borders and through towns and cities.<br />
CO$T AND T!ME<br />A threat to global security<br />Vulnerable to terrorists<br />Nuclear power evolved from the atomic bomb, and the two have <br />remained connected ever since. One of the most fundamental and <br />insoluble problems of nuclear power is that the enriched uranium it <br />burns, and the plutonium it produces, can be used to construct <br />nuclear weapons. Other radioactive products formed in nuclear <br />reactors can be used to produce dirty bombs<br />A risk for climate change <br />and energy security <br />Though some people talk of a ‘nuclear renaissance’ it exists only on <br />paper. Pretentious words and high expectations are not matched<br />by orders for new reactors or by interest from the investment <br />community. Only at nuclear power’s peak in 1985 and 1986, the <br />equivalent of 30 new reactors (30 GW) of additional capacity was <br />built per year. In the last decade the average construction rate was <br />just four new reactors (4 GW) per year<br />
R!SKS AND D@NGERS<br />Proliferation Risks:<br />Plutonium is a man-made waste product of nuclear fission, which can be used either for fuel in nuclear power plants or for bombs.<br />In the year 2000, an estimated 310 tons (620,000 pounds) of civilian, weapons-usable plutonium had been produced.<br />Less than 8 kilograms (about 18 pounds) of plutonium is enough for one Nagasaki-type bomb. Thus, in the year 2000 alone, enough plutonium was created to make more than 34,000 nuclear weapons.<br />The technology for producing nuclear energy that is shared among nations, particularly the process that turns raw uranium into lowly-enriched uranium, can also be used to produce highly-enriched, weapons-grade uranium.<br />The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is responsible for monitoring the world’s nuclear facilities and for preventing weapons proliferation, but their safeguards have serious shortcomings. Though the IAEA is promoting additional safeguards agreements to increase the effectiveness of their inspections, the agency acknowledges that, due to measurement uncertainties, it cannot detect all possible diversions of nuclear material. (Nuclear Control Institute) <br />
R!SKS AND D@NGERS<br />Risk of Accident<br />On April 26, 1986 the No. 4 reactor at the Chernobyl power plant (in the former U.S.S.R., present-day Ukraine) exploded, causing the worst nuclear accident ever.<br />30 people were killed instantly, including 28 from radiation exposure, and a further 209 on site were treated for acute radiation poisoning.<br />The World Health Organization found that the fallout from the explosion was incredibly far-reaching. For a time, radiation levels in Scotland, over 1400 miles (about 2300 km) away, were 10,000 times the norm.<br />Thousands of cancer deaths were a direct result of the accident.<br />The accident cost the former Soviet Union more than three times the economical benefits accrued from the operation of every other Soviet nuclear power plant operated between 1954 and 1990.<br />In March of 1979 equipment failures and human error contributed to an accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the worst such accident in U.S. history. Consequences of the incident include radiation contamination of surrounding areas, increased cases of thyroid cancer, and plant mutations.<br />According to the US House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations, "Calculation of Reactor Accident Consequences (CRAC2) for US Nuclear Power Plants” (1982, 1997), an accident at a US nuclear power plant could kill more people than were killed by the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki.<br />
R!SKS AND D@NGERS<br />Environmental Degradation<br />All the steps in the complex process of creating nuclear energy entail environmental hazards.<br />The mining of uranium, as well as its refining and enrichment, and the production of plutonium produce radioactive isotopes that contaminate the surrounding area, including the groundwater, air, land, plants, and equipment. As a result, humans and the entire ecosystem are adversely and profoundly affected.<br />Some of these radioactive isotopes are extraordinarily long-lived, remaining toxic for hundreds of thousands of years. Presently, we are only beginning to observe and experience the consequences of producing nuclear energy<br />Nuclear Waste<br />Nuclear waste is produced in many different ways. There are wastes produced in the reactor core, wastes created as a result of radioactive contamination, and wastes produced as a byproduct of uranium mining, refining, and enrichment. The vast majority of radiation in nuclear waste is given off from spent fuel rods.<br />A typical reactor will generate 20 to 30 tons of high-level nuclear waste annually. There is no known way to safely dispose of this waste, which remains dangerously radioactive until it naturally decays.<br />
R!SKS AND D@NGERS<br />The rate of decay of a radioactive isotope is called its half-life, the time in which half the initial amount of atoms present takes to decay. The half-life of Plutonium-239, one particularly lethal component of nuclear waste, is 24,000 years.<br />The hazardous life of a radioactive element (the length of time that must elapse before the material is considered safe) is at least 10 half-lives. Therefore, Plutonium-239 will remain hazardous for at least 240,000 years.<br />There is a current proposal to dump nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.Theplan is for Yucca Mountain to hold all of the high level nuclear waste ever produced from every nuclear power plant in the US. However, that would completely fill up the site and not account for future waste.Transportingthe wastes by truck and rail would be extremely dangerous.<br />Though some countries reprocess nuclear waste (in essence, preparing it to send through the cycle again to create more energy), this process is banned in the U.S. due to increased proliferation risks, as the reprocessed materials can also be used for making bombs. Reprocessing is also not a solution because it just creates additional nuclear waste.<br />The best action would be to cease producing nuclear energy (and waste), to leave the existing waste where it is, and to immobilize it. There are a few different methods of waste immobilization. In the vitrification process, waste is combined with glass-forming materials and melted. Once the materials solidify, the waste is trapped inside and can't easily be released<br />
Sustainable Energy Alternatives<br />Bioenergy:<br /> Biomass, such as plant matter and animal waste, can yield power, heat, steam, and fuel<br />Geothermal:<br />Renewable heat energy can be harnessed from deep within the earth.<br />
Sustainable Energy Alternatives<br />Wind: <br />Turbines turning in the air convert kinetic energy in the wind into electricity.<br />Solar: <br />The sun’s energy can be captured and used to produce heat and electricity.<br />
Sustainable Energy Alternatives<br />Hydrogen: <br />If produced by renewable sources, it can power fuel cells to convert chemical energy directly into electricity, with useful heat and water as the only byproducts.<br />Tidal: <br />Using the movement of the ocean to power turbines and generate electricity.<br />