Nuclear Reactors Essay

606 words - 2 pages

A nuclear reactor is a device that can manage a self-sustaining series of nuclear-fission reactions. Neutrons freed in one reaction may hit other heavy nuclei, causing them to split. Fission is the process in which a nucleus splits into two smaller pieces. A large amount of energy is released in this process.In a nuclear reactor the chain reaction is maintained at a steady pace. The rate of this chain reaction is controlled by materials, usually in the form of rods that take in neutrons. Nuclear reactors are designed so they can't blow up like atomic bombs. Control rods made of boron are gradually placed in the core if the series begins to continue too fast, which could destroy the core. The heat released by fission is removed from the core by a coolant circulated through the core. Some of the energy is used to heat up water and convert it to steam. This steam runs a turbine, and the turbine's energy is turned into electricity by a generator. Besides providing an important source of electric power, nuclear reactors are also used to fuel certain types of military machines, submarines, and some spacecrafts. Another major use of reactors is the creation of radioactive isotopes that are used in scientific research and medical therapy.Most of the energy of fission--about 85 percent of it--is released within a very short time after the process occurs. The rest of the energy comes from the radioactive decay of fission wastes, which is what the leftovers are called after they have emitted neutrons. Radioactive decay continues when the fission series has been stopped.A breeder reactor is a nuclear reactor that produces more fissionable material than it consumes to create energy. This type of reactor is designed to lengthen the nuclear fuel supply for electric power generation. Where a usual nuclear reactor...

Find Another Essay On Nuclear Reactors

The Debate on Nuclear Energy Essay

2168 words - 9 pages . Chernobyl, Ukraine was one of the many cities greatly impacted by the controversy of nuclear energy. Chernobyl is a small city located on the Pripyat River, very close to the Belarus border (“Chernobyl”, 2013). Chernobyl contained a large nuclear power plant, constructed to produce energy and plutonium. On April 25, 1986, there was an unauthorized test of one of the plant’s four reactors, during which nuclear engineers decided to initiate an

Nuclear Power Plants are Safe Essay

875 words - 4 pages Nuclear fission was discovered in the 1930s and, with that discovery it opened the doors to an exciting new field of energy production. When first discovered, it was so misunderstood that some children’s toys actually included live radioactive material. However, we learned from our mistakes and moved forward. Today, nuclear reactors that produce electricity for the populace are common in big cities, in some rural areas, but how safe are they

Nuclear power: Advatages and disadvatages, also a short history of nuclear technology.

738 words - 3 pages Nuclear reactors are a great achievement in the human race. Reactors where originally used for research into the world of nuclear energy. The first reactor was built and sustained by the Italian scientist Enrico Fermi, at the University of Chicago in 1942. It is also interesting to know that even though the scientist didn't realize the potential danger of a mass explosion of energy and the destructive capability to the human body, they where not

Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Power outside of WWII

1806 words - 8 pages been built, the world has seen what an asset nuclear energy can be. (“Operating Nuclear Power Reactors”, 2014). Nuclear energy’s first developments were from chemists and physicists learning about the atom. The actual nuclear energy would come later. In 1895, Wilhelm Röntgen found that when he put an electric current in an evacuated tube, x-rays were produced. Rontgen called this ionizing radiation because the x-rays were a result of electrons

Peaceful Uses for Nuclear Technology

1212 words - 5 pages the winds. To this day Chernobyl is an abandoned reminder of the failed structure of this reactor and still contains radioactivity. The only thing that remains here are they slowly decaying structures. The possibility of terrorist attacks on nuclear reactors are things that causes concern for nations as well. To address these concerns, the possibility of a terrorist group intending on crashing an airplane into a nuclear reactor to try and produce

The Growing Demand for Energy

1252 words - 5 pages countries are more dependent on this power source than others. France relies on nuclear for 75.2 percent of its electricity. (National Public Radio, 2011). This potential to generate enormous amounts of energy from fission or fusion reaction is not without its risk. I wish to highlight some negatives associated with nuclear reactors with appropriate focus on health and environmental impacts. The interesting thing about nuclear energy is that it

Nuclear Implication

1989 words - 8 pages has no role whatever in tackling global climate change. In fact quite the opposite is true; any resources expended on attempting to advance nuclear power as a viable solution would inevitably detract from genuine measures to reduce the threat of global warming.There has been a marked downward world-wide trend in the fortunes of the nuclear industry throughout the last two decades. By the end of 1998, it is expected that no new reactors whatever

Comparative Analysis between Uranium and Thorium Based Nuclear Fuels

3853 words - 16 pages government for a nuclear fuel in the late 1940s; side by side with uranium. During those studies the U.S decided to shelve thorium research and pursued using uranium because it was extremely difficult to get weapon grade fissile material from thorium and the United States was in a nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union. Research began again in force with thorium in the 1990’s by many countries, the U.S included. Thorium run reactors have been built

Nuclear Energy

1143 words - 5 pages powered turbine generator. The same process is used to cool the steam in this cycle as the other. The reactor and the generators are housed in a thick concrete-and-steel structure. The walls can be up to six feet thick. This keeps radiation from leaking out and contaminating the surrounding areas. There are many security measures used to keep the nuclear power plant safe, because of this the reactors are very complex machines. Currently there are

Understanding the Benefits of Nuclear Power         Nuclear power, or atomic

2060 words - 8 pages during WWII (Kaku and Trainer 16). The government built facilities, consisting of production reactors, chemical-reprocessing plants, test reactors, and weapon production facilities in a record amount of time (Kaku and Trainer 16). Scientists first released nuclear energy on a large-scale basis at the University of Chicago in 1942, headed by Physicist Enrico Fermi. This led to the development of the atomic bomb. The first atomic bomb

Civil Nuclear Cooperation Initiative with India

1568 words - 6 pages . Since the rise of nuclear weaponry, global precautions have been taken to prevent the outbreak of war and violence. India is one country in which the United States has established foreign policy. In 2008, the United States established the Civil Nuclear Cooperation Initiative. The policy entails that fourteen of India’s nuclear reactors be regulated by the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Association), an organization run by the United Nations. When

Similar Essays

Cooling Systems In Nuclear Reactors Essay

916 words - 4 pages Cooling Systems in Nuclear Reactors Introduction Nuclear power plants make up 15% of the world’s electricity production. The US produces the most nuclear power, with France and Japan following second and third. Nuclear reactors are used in nuclear power plants to produce heat that will create steam to produce energy. Nuclear power plants convert thermal energy released from nuclear fission. The core of a nuclear reactor builds up heat and

The Future Of Energy: Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors

1833 words - 8 pages Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors are seen as the future of energy. The concept is simple, yet thoroughly investigated. When people started to do research in the field of nuclear energy in the mid-nineties, the molten salt reactors were soon invented. However, it is only a few years ago since mankind seriously took the liquid fluoride thorium reactors into account. This decision to further investigate the liquid fluoride thorium reactors could be

History Of Thorium Essay

1274 words - 5 pages ignites brightly with a white light. Thorium source is found in the rare phosphate mineral of monazite, which contains 12% thorium, and monazite resources are predicted to be 12million tones, mostly in India. What are the byproducts (waste) versus conventional uranium reactors? Half-lives of the products are important! The natural isotope thorium-232 is a fertile element which has an ability to be used as a nuclear fuel. Thorium-232

Nuclear Energy And Hydroelectric Energy: Pros And Cons

2325 words - 9 pages Nuclear Energy Nuclear reactors are the future of energy production. Nuclear energy can produce over 500 zeta joules of power; which is equal to about 1000 times the current energy consumption of the world. The usage of nuclear energy is declining and if power companies do not begin utilizing nuclear energy, a lot of needless pollution will be released into the atmosphere causing further damage to our already badly damaged planet. Usage of