This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Fast Breeder Reactors Essay

2076 words - 8 pages

Fast Breeder Reactors

Abstract
In this report I will investigate how different breeder reactors operate, the many problems addressed by the Fast Breeder Reactor, including efficiency and cost, the disadvantages of Fast Breeder Reactors, and working examples that have been constructed throughout the world.
Introduction
There is another type of modern nuclear energy, an interesting idea that will grow on you, so to speak. If one were to think of an “alternative” nuclear energy source, a pebble bed fission reactor or namely fusion reactors come to mind. The Liquid Metal Fast Breeder reactor (FBR) is the alternate “alternative” reactor. FBRs first went critical (became operational) in 1951 with the American experimental EBR-1 in Idaho. FBRs, in principle, produce more fissile material than they produce. Although they still need a blend of stable fertile material with fissile fuel, the fact that they convert this mix to a unified fissile material while generating electricity at the same time is the primary reason these reactors are appealing. The technology used for FBRs has been consistently researched in the US, USSR, France, UK, Germany, Japan, China, and India at different points in time beginning in 1949 with initial design work performed on the EBR-I in the US (Encarta-2005). Asian countries currently lead the world in the effort being invested in this type of reactor. We could see a significant number of FBRs being built within the next 25 to 50 years, as the demand for fossil fuels increases with pollution and the constant and inefficient consumption of fossil fuel supplies by all nations. Are FBRs a viable energy source for California or the US? I will discuss the atomic process that FBRs use to operate, the problems the FBR could possibly solve, the drawbacks of the FBR, and some examples of major FBRs that have been constructed.
Fast Breeder Reactors: Do They Have the Juice? Breeder Reactors 3
The fast neutron reaction (FNR) process used in FBRs is definitely innovative, but fundamentally simple. The components of a fast breeder reactor core are the following: thousands of stainless steel fuel rods with up to 20 percent Pu-239 and 80 percent U-238 or thorium, a breeder blanket of comparatively sized tubes that contain Uranium-238 Oxide, and a liquid metal for cooling purposes (Encarta-2005). The fuel rods, 6-7 mm in diameter are grouped into fuel assemblies that are about 10-15 cm across and 3-4 m long. The blanket is composed of larger rods of 1.5 cm in diameter due to requiring less cooling. The U-238 used as fuel or blanket material is eventually converted to primarily Pu-239 through two successive beta decays (Hyperphysics-2006). Neutrons that cause the fission must maintain a fast velocity, therefore a neutron-absorbing moderator is eliminated and the cooling agent also works as the moderator. The optimal cooling agent for FBRs is liquid sodium; this coolant has the advantages of a low melting point of 100 Celsius and boiling...

Find Another Essay On Fast Breeder Reactors

Comparative Analysis between Uranium and Thorium Based Nuclear Fuels

3853 words - 16 pages 1975 Table 3: Information take from Duke Energy nuclear power plant listing. A concern Duke Energy will have in the future, as can also be seen in table 4, is the age of its reactors. These reactors in the near future are going to require updates, substantial modifications, or be decommissioned. The future of new reactors is fast neutron reactors or Generation 4 reactors (WNA, 2013). Fast neutron nuclear reactors differ from current reactors

Nuclear Energy is Green Energy Essay

1661 words - 7 pages energy. (McCarthy, June 1, 1995, Para 9)s 2239942399223892PuUUn If the heavy water process were to be used to create energy with fast breeder reactors, humans would be able to create energy for 5 billion years, which is also the calculated remaining life of the sun. (McCarthy, June 1, 1995, Para 6) Not only will uranium last humans until the sun dies out, there are still other alternate sources for nuclear power. Examples of these

Replacement of Fossil Fuels with Nuclear Energy for Electricity

1282 words - 5 pages a period of containment the threat of leakage into the water system become eminent. CONCLUSION Nuclear energy holds much promise for the future of the United States. It is cleaner, healthier, more efficient and more reliable than fossil fuels, but the issue of what to do with the waste prevents us from increasing our nuclear energy output. However, new methods such as fast breeder reactors and nuclear reprocessing reuse the waste and

Nuclear Energy

7894 words - 32 pages . Scientists have also developed fast reactors, in which high-velocity neutrons cause the fissions. These reactors use plutonium or uranium 233 fuel. Fast breeder reactors produce more fuel material than they consume. A fast breeder reactor that converts U-238 to plutonium can greatly extend the use of uranium as an energy resource. In addition, a fast reactor can be designed to consume certain radioactive elements that have long-lives and are present

Energy future

4599 words - 18 pages which use Uranium-235 (0.7% of all natural uranium), fast breeder reactors convert the more abundant Uranium-238 (99.3% of all natural uranium) into plutonium which can be used as fuel. It has been estimated that there is anywhere from 10,000 to five billion years worth of Uranium-238 for use in these power plants using breeders. Breeder technology has been used in several reactors , and now China intends to build breeders .Nuclear proliferation is

Nuclear Energy is Safe and Clean

2576 words - 10 pages to help keep the economy going. It is a renewable energy source thanks to the newer breeders that help keep the plutonium created after the uranium-235 useful as more fissionable material. The breeders are able to enrich the uranium and create even more fuel than it consumed. Some of the newer types of breeder reactors are the LMFBR’s or the liquid metal fast breeder reactors. These reactors are either lead cooled or sodium cooled. These types

When the Bubble Burst

1539 words - 6 pages By the time I arrived state side from my second tour in the Middle East the housing bubble had already burst. I noticed a drastic change in the way that many of my friends and family were living. Several of my friends that worked in real estate had sold their boats and seconds houses. My own stock portfolio had lost a third of its value. My sister and her husband had defaulted on their home mortgage leaving them scrambling for a place to live. I

phase diagram

4456 words - 18 pages Introduction: Chemical equilibrium is a crucial topic in Chemistry. To represent and model equilibrium, the thermodynamic concept of Free energy is usually used. For a multi-component system the Gibbs free energy is a function of Pressure, Temperature and quantity (mass, moles) of each component. If one of these parameters is changed, a state change to a more energetically favorable state will occur. This state has the lowest free energy

Revolutionary Work of Art

1890 words - 8 pages Walter Benjamin emphasizes in his essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility” that technology used to make an artwork has changed the way it was received, and its “aura”. Aura represents the originality and authenticity of a work of art that has not been reproduced. The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican is an example of a work that has been and truly a beacon of art. It has brought a benefit and enlightenment to the art

Enlightenment Thought in New Zealand Schools

1594 words - 6 pages In this essay I will be looking at how the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment have shaped New Zealand Education. I will also be discussing the perennial tension of local control versus central control of education, and how this has been affected by the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment. The enlightenment was an intellectual movement, which beginnings of were marked by the Glorious Revolution in Britain

Psychological Egoism Theory

2240 words - 9 pages The theory of psychological egoism is indeed plausible. The meaning of plausible in the context of this paper refers to the validity or the conceivability of the theory in question, to explain the nature and motivation of human behavior (Hinman, 2007). Human actions are motivated by the satisfaction obtained after completing a task that they are involved in. For example, Mother Teresa was satisfied by her benevolent actions and

Similar Essays

Nuclear Reactors Essay

606 words - 2 pages . Where a usual nuclear reactor can use only the fissionable isotope uranium-235 for fuel, a breeder reactor employs either uranium-238 or thorium; more of those elements are available. Uranium-238 is more than 99% of all naturally occurring uranium. In breeders, roughly 70% of this element can be used for power production. Regular reactors can use less than 1% of its energy.The most useful type of breeder, the liquid-metal fast breeder reactor

Breeder Reactors: Clean And Plentiful Energy...Forever

2499 words - 10 pages in other plants. The pellets of fuel are also much smaller compared to even one rock of coal, and only need to be replaced every three years. So every year, only one-third of each reactor’s fuel source needs to be replaced. In Approximately one whole train load of the other fuels comes in every day. 365 train loads of each of these substances, as opposed to one “suitcase” full of the Uranium pellets. Liquid Metal Fast Breeder Reactors are

Nuclear Power: Advatages And Disadvatages, Also A Short History Of Nuclear Technology

738 words - 3 pages chain reaction can be produced in a reactor by using uranium or plutonium in which the concentration of fissionable isotopes has been increased. Even though the neutrons move at high speeds, the increased amount of fissionable isotope captures enough neutrons to make a self-sustaining chain reaction. In this type of reactor the neutrons carrying on the chain reaction are fast neutrons. Fusion reactors are still in the experimental phase. Fusion

Problems Facing Breeder Reactors As A Future Energy Source

2504 words - 10 pages been used in liquid metal fast breeder reactors, reactors that use uranium-238 to produce plutonium-239. Historical Background: Nuclear energy was first achieved through Enrico Fermi?s experiment of nuclear fission where he and his team shot neutrons towards uranium atoms, which confirmed Albert Einstein?s theory of relativity that mass could be converted into energy. The first nuclear reactor was built by Fermi in Chicago called the Chicago-1