PowerPoint Presentation - Nuclear Power Plants

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					Nuclear Power Plants

  By Nishant Budhraja
    What is Nuclear Power?
 The term nuclear, in today’s society, is
  often taken to be negative or destructive in
  some way. However, Nuclear Power Plants
  are considered by many to be the future of
  energy and electricity production.
 This presentation will discuss how Nuclear
  Power Plants generate energy, what energy
  transfers are involved in the process of
  generating energy, and the problems and
  benefits of using nuclear power.
               The Process
 The next few slides will
  provide details as to
  what goes on inside a
  nuclear power plant to
  create energy, from
  nuclear fission to the
  final production of
     Overview of the Power Plant
You may want to refer to this diagram for the following
  slides, which will provide details to what goes on in
                     the power plant.
           Step 1: Fission Reaction
 This is the center of the entire
  process of energy production
  in a nuclear power plant. The
  Uranium located in the reactor
  of the power plant undergoes
  a fission reaction, where the
  Uranium absorbs a stray
  neutron, causing the nucleus
  of the Uranium to become
  unstable and split into two
  new nuclei, releasing two new
  neutrons, some radioactive
  products, and a large amount
  of energy.
        Fission Reaction Continued
 The large amount of energy
  created by the fission
  reaction of unstable Uranium
  is sustained by the fact that
  the reaction releases two new
  neutrons that go and hit
  other nuclei (Fission Chain
  Reaction). This reaction is
  controlled by control rods in
  the reactor that absorb
  neutrons to limit the chain
  reaction from getting out of
  hand. Nuclear Weapons
  utilize uncontrolled fission
         Fission Reaction Energy
 In a fission reaction, the nucleus of the Uranium,
  when hit by the stray neutron, loses mass as it
  splits into two new nuclei, because the mass of a
  nucleus as a whole is greater than that of its
  individual protons and neutrons (mass defect).
 As the Uranium loses mass, it also loses a large
  amount of PE as a result of nuclear particles
  (protons and neutrons) moving in the same
  direction as the strong force. Most of this energy is
  released as KE to the surroundings, thus providing
  heat energy to and raising the temperature of the
  surroundings. The other part of the energy is
  converted into an increase in KE for the system.
      Step 2: Using the Energy
 The kinetic energy that is released by the Uranium
  to the water is then utilized in order to heat the
  water to the point where it turns to steam. The
  steam flows through a steam line where it will be
  utilized in the next step.
 ENERGY TRANSFER: In this step, the kinetic
  (heat) energy that is released to the water results
  in a gain of kinetic energy for the water as its
  temperature goes up and then a gain of potential
  energy as the molecules in the water move away
  from each other to facilitate a phase change to a
             Step 3: Steam Turbine
 The steam that is produced in
  the previous step travels
  through a steam line where it
  is used to drive a steam
  steam passes through the
  turbine, it loses kinetic energy
  because the rotors of the
  turbine restrict the movement
  of the steam. In turn, this
  causes the rotors of the
  turbine to move, which
  represents a gain in kinetic
  energy for the rotors from the
  energy lost by the steam.
           Step 4: The Generator
 The final step in the process that a Nuclear Power
  Plant undergoes to generate electricity is the actual
  generation of the electricity.
 In this final step, the rotors of the steam turbine,
  which are connected to the generator, rotates a wire
  coil in the generator. This coil is surrounded by
  magnets in a magnetic field contained in the
  generator itself. Using a process called
  electromagnetic induction, which occurs when the
  wire coil is rotated through the magnetic field,
  electricity is induced throughout the coil (causing
  electricity to flow throughout the coil). This process
  creates the electricity that we all use in our cities and
         Energy Transfer in the
 The Generator is what provides us with the energy
  that we need, and does so through some interesting
  energy transfers.
 The coil in the generator, which is rotating as a result
  of the kinetic energy produced by the steam turbine,
  rotates in the midst of a magnetic field. As it rotates,
  the magnets help to transfer the kinetic energy of the
  coil to the electrons of the atoms in the coil. Thus, the
  electrons gain kinetic energy, are excited, and move
  around, creating a flow of electricity in the coil itself.
          The Final Product!
There you have it, the complete process from
 nuclear fission to the production of electricity.
      Drawbacks to Using Nuclear
            Power Plants
 The next few slides will
  discuss the drawbacks
  there are to using
  Nuclear Power Plants,
  most notably the
  pollutants created by the
  power plants and the
  major dangers that are
  associated with nuclear
   Pollution from Nuclear Power
 There are three main
  types of pollutants that
  are created during the
  process of producing
  energy in a nuclear
  power plant:
  Radioactive Waste,
  Radiation Leaks,
  and Heated Water.
 Radioactive Waste: it is comprised of the used
  Uranium from the power plant’s reactor, as well as
  water that has been contaminated by the Uranium. It
  remains radioactive for thousands of years and we
  have no way, currently, of storing it safely.
 Radiation Leaks: it is comprised of radioactive
  gasses that are extremely dangerous and, when
  inhaled, can cause cancer. While these leaks are
  usually small, a large scale radiation leak would be a
 Heated Water: it is comprised of all of the water
  used in the process of cooling down the reactor and
  other parts of the power plant. This water can kill
  marine wildlife and algae when it is released back into
  a local ecosystem because of its high temperature.
   Major Dangers of Nuclear
 Surprisingly, Nuclear Power Plants are
  considered in many ways to be safer
  than their coal-powered or fossil fuel
  counterparts. However, the issues of
  Radioactive Material, Improper
  Facilities, and Large Disasters make
  using Nuclear Energy a risky business.
     Major Dangers: Radioactive
 Radioactive Material: the existence of radioactive
  material is one of the prime concerns of utilizing
  nuclear energy. We, currently, have no way of
  properly storing radioactive material from nuclear
  power plants, and the current solution is simply to
  bury it in special containers as far away from society
  as possible. While this will work for now, it is only a
  temporary solution and there is still the danger that
  the material could leak into local water ways and
  contaminate drinking water. Also, the radioactive
  material is hazardous and will remain so for thousands
  of years.
       Major Dangers: Improper
 Improper Facilities: in a perfect Nuclear Power
  Plant, there would be no danger. If all of the facilities
  in a plant were perfect, there would be no possibility
  of disaster. However, this is not the case. It is
  estimated that just under 90% of the United States’
  nuclear power plants do not comply with the health
  regulations of our government. This problem leads to
  other problems, such as a radiation leaks from the
  plant itself that could jeopardize the health of the
  employees of the plant as well as the health of the
  people in the surrounding communities.
           Major Dangers: Large
 Large Disasters: as with any power plant, there is always
  the possibility of a meltdown or disaster. With a Nuclear Power
  Plant, however, the ramifications of that disaster are much
  greater than that of any normal plant. A combination of the two
  previous factors, an excess of radioactive material or waste and
  improper facilities, can lead to a large disaster. A prime
  example of this is the disaster at Chernobyl, a large Russian
  nuclear power plant that had been running below safety
  standards for years. One day, the walls of the reactor simply
  couldn’t hold up and the reactor exploded. This led to a
  massive radioactive fallout that released more than a ton of
  radioactive particles , leading to the evacuation of over 336,000
  people. The possibility of a disaster this large is another one of
  the major dangers of using nuclear energy.
              Is it Sustainable?
 One last question that can be asked of nuclear power
  plants is: are they sustainable? The dictionary defines
  sustainable as: capable of being sustained; maintainable.
 This question is a very interesting one, because it can be
  viewed in different ways. If you look at nuclear energy
  from sustainability as far as resources go, then it is one of
  the more sustainable ways of producing energy. The only
  real reactants that nuclear power plants need from the
  environment are water and uranium, two readily available
 However, when you look at the sustainability of the
  products of a nuclear power plant, the story is quite
  different. It can be disputed whether the storage of
  radioactive waste created by nuclear power plants can be
  sustained, although it seems as if our current way of
  storing the products is not sustainable at all.
        Researching Sustainability
 It is hard to determine whether nuclear energy is a sustainable
  type of energy: there are arguments for both sides. However,
  there are some questions that can be researched to further our
  understandings of this complex topic:
 What are the plans for future storage of radioactive materials
  from nuclear power plants?
 Will there be a strong initiative from our government to crack
  down on power plants that are performing at low safety
 What technologies are currently in development that would
  make the process of running a nuclear power plant safer
 Have there been inquiries into nuclear fusion and how that
  could be utilized as an energy source as well?
 How will the use of/operation of nuclear power plants be
  regulated world wide? (reaching a global standard on nuclear
   You have made it though my
 Powerpoint! Hopefully you now
know a lot (or a little) more about
Nuclear Power Plants than you did
  before you read this. Now that
 you have all of this information,
 good luck on solving the world’s
         energy crisis!!!!
   "Basic Nuclear Fission". Thinkquest. 2/8/08
   Brain , Marshall. "Howstuffworks "Inside a Nuclear Power Plant"". Howstuffworks. 2/11/08
   "How an Electric Generator Works". WVIC. 2/12/08 <
   L. Cohen, Bernard. "Nuclear Power Risk". University of Pittsburg. 2/10/08
   Nuclear Issues Briefing Paper 22, "Chernobyl Accident ". Australian Uranium Association.
    2/12/08 <>.
   Solcomhouse, "Nuclear Power How Power Plants Work". Solcomhouse. 2/9/08
   "The Secret Lives of Energy-The Energy Problem-Energy Pollution". Community Action
    Science Guides. 2/12/08 <>.
   Wagener, Alan. "Nuclear Pollution". Greensense. 2/12/08
   "Energy In-Depth--Potential and Kinetic Energy". Explore More: The Future of Energy.
       Bibliography (Images and
 In the order they are found in the Powerpoint:
   Cooling Tower Image:
   Overview Diagram:
   Fission Animation #1:
   Fission Animation #2:
   Steam Turbine Image:
   Nuclear Power Plant Animation:
   Nuclear Waste Image:
   Nuclear Pollution Image:

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