What is Nuclear Energy?Nuclear energy is the energystored in the nucleus of an atom.Nuclear energy is unusual inthat it can give off energy in the form of light or heat, but it is thechange in the atoms makeup that produces the energy. Submarines, power plants, and smoke detectors all use nuclear energy. Nuclearpower plants use uranium, aradioactive element, to create electricity.
NUCLEAR FUEL• Nuclear fuel is any material that can be consumed to derive nuclear energy. The most common type of nuclear fuel is fissile elements that can be made to undergo nuclear fission chain reactions in a nuclear reactor• The most common nuclear fuels are 235U and 239Pu. Not all nuclear fuels are used in fission chain reactions
NUCLEAR FISSION• When a neutron strikes anatom of uranium, the uraniumsplits into two lighter atoms andreleases heat simultaneously.• Fission of heavy elements is an exothermic reaction which canrelease large amounts of energy both as electromagnetic radiation and as kinetic energy of the fragments
NUCLEAR CHAIN REACTIONS• A chain reaction refers to a process in which neutrons released in fission produce an additional fission in at least one further nucleus. This nucleus in turn produces neutrons, and the process repeats. If the process is controlled it is used for nuclear power or if uncontrolled it is used for nuclear weapons
Fission Control The key to controlling the chain reaction is to control Control Rods the amount of neutrons used in fission. This is done by inserting/removing control rods. The control rods are long and inserted inside the reactor between the fuel tubes Water flow Control rods are made of materials that absorb Fuel: Uranium 235 neutrons (boron or cadmium), limiting the amount of neutrons used in the fission process.
Difference between Nuclear and Thermal Power GenerationThe difference is thatthe thermal uses aboiler to burn thefossil fuel andgenerate steamwith the heat, but thenuclear uses a nuclear reactor to make theuranium fission energyto generate steam withthe heat.
Difference between Nuclear and Hydraulic Power Generation Hydraulic power is power that is derived from the force or energy of moving water through turbines, but the nuclear uses theuranium fission energy to generate steam which flows through turbine
Advantages of Nuclear Power Plants1. High energy density compared to other conventional power plants.2. Low amount of fuel for producing bulk power .3. Can be located close load centers.4. Availability of nuclear fuel all over the world. ( can ensure continued supply for thousands of years)5. High reliability.6. Nuclear power plants produce no air pollutants or greenhouse gases
Disadvantages of Nuclear Power Plants1. Expensive fuel.2. High capital cost compared to other plants3. Can represent a dangerous radioactive pollution.4. Are not well suited for varying loads.5. Waste Disposal