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Nuclear Power Plant
The power station in which nuclear energy is converted into electrical energy is called nuclear power station.
Nuclear Power Plant Working
The chief atomic fuel used is Uranium (U-235) or Thorium (Th-232). It has been found that uranium alone contains more energy than all the world’s resources of coal and petroleum put together. By the process of fission, the metals given above become unstable and transformed to metals of lower atomic weights like nickel and silicon etc. In the nuclear power station when 1 kg of uranium is splitted by fission process, a tremendous amount of heat energy is liberated which is roughly equivalent to that obtained by burning about 2500 tonnes of high grade coal. The heat energy is extracted by pumping fluid or molten metal like liquid, sodium or gas through the pipe. The heated metal or gas is allowed to transfer its heat to the heat exchanger where the gas is heated or steam is generated which is utilised for driving the gas turbine or steam turbine coupled to alternator, thereby generating electrical energy
Nuclear Power Plant Diagram
Components Of Nuclear Power Plant
- Nuclear Reactor
- Heat Exchanger
- Steam or Gas Turbine
1. Nuclear Reactor
In a nuclear reactor, the fission process is carried out. A nuclear reactor is an apparatus where a controlable nuclear fission chain reaction can be maintained. There may be a slow, fast or intermediate reactor. Normally for power generation, a slow reactor is used. because the natural uranium i.e. U-235 is operateable by slow neutrons only.
2. Heat Exchanger
In the heat exchanger, the gas is heated or steam is generated which is utilised to drive gas turbine or steam turbine coupled to a alternator.
3. Steam or Gas Turbine
In the steam turbine, the heat energy is converted into mechanical energy. This steam energy is obtained from the heat exchanger where the steam is produced.
The alternator is electrical generator that is coupled with the turbine through coupling. The function of the alternator is to convert the mechanical energy into electrical energy.
In the condenser, low pressure steam is condensed into water.
Advantages of Nuclear Power Plant
- Fuel required is quite less.
- Running cost is comparatively low.
- Cost of generation is small.
- Such power stations are most economical in large capacity.
- It has less pollution.
Disadvantages of Nuclear Power Plant
- High technical know-how is required.
- Capital cost is quite high.
- Fuel availability is quite expensive.
- Maintenance cost is high.
- Availability of fuel is also rare.
Choice Of Site For Nuclear Power Plant
Following are the requirements of the site available for installing Nuclear Power Station
- Availability of adequate supply of water for cooling purposes.
- Availability of cheap land.
- Accessibility of site by roads and rail should be there.
- Ample land for future expansion must be there.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is nuclear energy?
Nuclear energy is defined as when Uranium is splitted by the process of fission a large amount of heat energy. This energy is called nuclear energy.
How does a nuclear power plant work?
When the process of fission takes place of the Uranium atom a heat energy is produced & that energy is extracted by the gas through pipe or liquid. This gas is heated in the heat exchanger where the gas is converted into steam which is used to the steam turbine that is connected to generators, producing electricity.
How many nuclear power plants are there in India?
There are 7 nuclear power plants in India. These are Tarapur Atomic Power Station, Rajasthan Atomic Power Station, Kaiga Atomic Power Station, Kakrapar Atomic Power Station, Kudankulam Atomic Power Station, Madras (Kalpakkam) Atomic Power Station, Narora Atomic Power Station.