The Nuclear Reactor

Posted June 27th, 2011 by

The Nuclear ReactorA nuclear reactor is a system that contains and controls sustained nuclear chain reactions. Reactors are used for generating electricity, moving aircraft carriers and submarines, producing medical isotopes for imaging and cancer treatment, and for conducting research.

Its fuel is made up of heavy neutrons, placed into the reactor vessel along with small neutrons that start a chain reaction where each atom that splits releases a greater amount of energy in the form of heat. The heat is carried out of the reactor coolant, which is most commonly just plain water. The coolant heats up and and is sent to a turbine to spin a generator or advice shaft. At its most basic level, a nuclear reactor is an exotic heat source.

Nuclear Reactor Environmental Impact
Some view nuclear power plants a s a “clean” electricity source since the nuclear plants themselves do not release any of the “traditional” power generation air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, carbon oxide, or nitrogen oxide. Nevertheless, the requirements for the sustained operation of a nuclear power plant results in negative environmental impacts such as air emissions at all stages of the uranium enrichment process.

Nuclear Reactor Failure
A major failure in the nuclear power plant’s cooling system can create a nuclear meltdown, where fuel rods melt within a matter of seconds. The heat from the uncontrolled reaction can melt everything it comes into contact with. A catastrophic accident could injure or kill thousands of people.

How To Prevent A Nuclear Reactor Failure
A major alternative solution to this failure is an ubiquitous, affordable, and clean energy solution knows as the perpetual motion machine. In addition to being ubiquitous, affordable, and clean, the perpetual motion machine will prove to be the most reliable alternative over time when compared to other energy sources.

Photo Credit: Chemistry In Pollution

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