How is nuclear energy produced step by step?

Nuclear energy produced by using a Nuclear Reactor is a power generation environment where a Control Nuclear Fission reaction is used to produce power.

We build the first Nuclear Reactor in Chicago, the USA in 1942.

Components of Nuclear Reactor

  • The major parts of the Nuclear Reactor are:
  • Fuel
  • Moderator
  • Control Rod
  • Coolant
  • Protection Wall

Fuel

It is a fissile material that is the fuel for Nuclear reactors. The most commonly used Nuclear Fuel is Uranium.

Nuclear fuel Assembly
Nuclear fuel Assembly By NRC – http://www.nrc.gov/images/reading-rm/photo-gallery/20071114-045.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5155554

Moderator

It is used to slow down the high-energy neutrons to provide slow neutrons. We commonly use heavy Water and Graphite.

Control Rod

 Control Rod
Control Rod By Nic Ransby – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Controlrods.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1233110

It is used to control the number of neutrons to control the chain reaction. The most widely used control rods are Boron or Cadmium.

Coolant

It is used to remove the heat from the Nuclear reactor. Usually, Water, Air, and Helium are used. The hot gas or steam from the reactor is used to run the turbine to produce electricity.

Protection Wall

Nuclear reactor Protection Wall
Nuclear reactor Protection Wall By doe-oakridge – Nuclear Reactor Uranium Pile, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=72199493

A thick wall made of lead is used to stop the radiation from escaping outside the nuclear reactor.

Nuclear energy is commonly measured in Joules.

Uses of Nuclear Reactor

  • Used for power generation
  • Used to produce Radio Isotopes that used for various application such as Medicine, Industries, etc.
  • Used for research in Nuclear Physics.
  • Used to convert non-fissionable material into fissionable material.

Types of Nuclear Reactor

  • Breeder reactor
  • Fast Breeder Reactor
  • Pressurized Water Reactor
  • Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor
  • Boiling Water Reactor
  • Water-Cooled Reactor
  • Gas-Cooled Reactor
  • Fusion Reactor
  • Thermal Reactor
* * All the Notes in this blog, are referred from Tamil Nadu State Board Books and Samacheer Kalvi Books. Kindly check with the original Tamil Nadu state board books and Ncert Books.