Nuclear Power Generation Process
Nuclear power or nuclear energy sources uses increases due to the increasing demand for electrical energy generation in the world. Uranium-235 isotopes split by slow thermal neutrons of energy 0.03 MeV and by fast thermal neutrons of energy 1 MeV. The thermal neutrons are the neutron particles present in the nucleus of radioactive atoms whose average kinetic energy reduces to thermal energy in the radioactive decay chain reaction at ordinary temperatures. Therefore, nuclear power plants are alternative sources of electric thermal energy in the United States, Canada, Germany, Russia, Japan, etc. This type of electric energy is generated by the controlled mass energy conservation chain reaction in the reactor of the nuclear power plant and these types of atomic energy working for generating electric power for mankind.
Nuclear fusion reactions are going through the evolution of a large amount of energy due to the conversion of mass into energy. The future hope of mankind lies in the ability of scientists and engineers to produce reactors capable of giving fissionable isotopes from the abundant periodic table elements like lead thorium and mercury. A great variety of nuclear reactions operates now for electric power generators in the world. In these online learning chemistry courses, we discuss shortly the nuclear energy generation by radioactivity.
Nuclear Fuel for Reactor
Natural uranium enriches with chemical element uranium-235 and plutonium-239 is used in the form of plates alloyed with aluminum for fuel. These plates separated from each other by moderating reagents like graphite for nuclear energy generation.
Control Rods in Reactor
Cadmium or boron can be used as a rod in reactors. These metals use because these are good absorbers of neutrons. Therefore the rate of fission reactions is controlled by pushing or pulling this rod in a reactor.
Moderator in Nuclear Power Plant
When the reaction kinetics rates are not controlled by reaction rods we use moderators to reduce the speed of the reactions. Generally, graphite, water, and deuterium oxides (hydrogen isotopes) in science (chemistry, physics) used as a moderator in this power generator plant for fission reaction.
Coolant Used in Nuclear Reactor
The energy produced in rectors given as specific heat. Thus we circulated the reactors by a substance to remove or transfer heat. Usually, deuterium oxide, water, or even a molten mixture of sodium and potassium uses as the coolant in the world. The most common use of coolant in the USA is water. In electrical energy generation, this heat utilizes to generate steam which drives to turbines for producing electricity.
Shielding in Nuclear Reactor
For environmental conservation uses shielding to protect life from harmful electromagnetic radiation. Therefore, the high wavelength radiation produced in the interior of the reactors protects by the use of water, concrete, or both. But for better protection lead shielding type also uses in the nuclear power plant to protect gamma rays.
Nuclear Power Plants in India and USA
With increasing the demand for electricity and decreasing the source of fossil fuel we mostly use atomic and renewable energy like solar, geothermal, and wind energy as an alternative type of source for the electric power generation process. Fossil fuel also responsible for the greenhouse effect or different types of environmental pollution. Today almost about 440 reactors operating in the world in 30 countries.
The nuclear power plant for electrical energy generation sources has first established in India by Tarapur near Bombay in 1969. Next on Ranapratpnagar in Rajasthan in 1973. The atomic power plant was also set up at Kalapakkam in Tamil Nadu in 1983 and Narora in Uttar Pradesh in 1990. Nuclear power plants play a key role in electricity generation in the United States. If the reactions in the atomic plant go beyond control tragedy like Chernobyl (Russia) and Fukushima (Japan) will befall the world.