To nuke, or not to nuke…that is the question!

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To nuke, or not to nuke…that is the question! Comanche Peak Plant Is nuclear power a renewable, or a non- renewable energy source?
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The Planet's Future. To nuke, or not to nuke…that is the question!. Is nuclear power a renewable, or a non-renewable energy source?. Comanche Peak Plant. That’s right… I was a genius. Fusion and Fission. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Transcript of To nuke, or not to nuke…that is the question!

  • To nuke, or not to nukethat is the question!Comanche Peak PlantIs nuclear power a renewable, or a non-renewable energy source?

  • Fusion and FissionMatter can be changed into energy. Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientific minds of the 20th century, discovered the mathematical formula that explains this. It is:E = MC2Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared.

  • Atoms and Nuclei Inside the nucleusProtons and neutrons Outside the nucleusElectronsNow we know there are even smaller bodies called quarks that make up nuclear particles.Helium= Proton= ElectronAs you can see, there are two neutrons, and two protons in elemental helium in its most familiar form= Neutron

  • FissionAn atoms nucleus can be split apart. When this happens, a tremendous amount of energy is released (NUCLEAR energy). Energy released is both thermal and radiant. Released slowly and controlled, it can be harnessed to generate electricity. Released quickly and all at once, it makes a colossal explosion also known as an atomic bomb.Nuclear fission requires large nuclei from atoms such as uranium, (fuel) which are then split into two smaller nuclei of roughly equal size. When this occurs, energy is released.

  • FissionA nuclear power plant like Comanche Peak uses uranium as fuel. Uranium is mined and processed into pellets. The pellets are loaded into long rods and then into a fuel assembly The uranium atoms are split apart in a controlled chain reaction, giving off both heat & light. The assemblies are then loaded into the reactor core, where the energy is produced Uranium is an element with a naturally unstable nucleus.

  • Control rods are used to keep the splitting regulated so it doesnt get out of control. The chain reaction gives off thermal energy. The heat produced is used to boil water in the core of the reactor. This hot water is piped to another section of the plant, where it heats another set of pipes that are filled with water to make steam. The steam in this second set of pipes powers a turbine...Blah, blah, blah... The turbine spins the shaft connected to the generator which makes electricity...

  • Danger of ReactorsLuckily, the conditions under which an atomic bomb is created are not present in a nuclear reactor. In bombs, almost pure pieces of Uranium-235 or Plutonium are held together with great force. Then, the particles are split in an UNCONTROLLED chain reaction Fission creates a radioactive material that is very harmful to the environment, if released.Fission energy is now being used commercially in the United States to produce about 20% of the nation's electricity.

  • The two fissile materials we use that undergo fission spontaneously are 235U and 239Pu Strontium, cesium, and rubidium are the radioisotopes which should be most closely guarded against release into the environment. They have half-lives of around 30 years, which ensures that they are not only highly radioactive but also be around for hundreds of years.

    Strontium-90 mimics the properties of calcium and is taken up by living organisms and deposited in bones. It has the potential for causing cancer or damaging the rapidly reproducing bone marrow cells.

  • Highly radioactive waste from spent fuel is vitrified or melted down with glass paste. This technique traps the radioactive atoms in a structure that is chemically stable for tens of thousands of years. The glass is poured into steel containers, which are temporarily stored in ventilation shafts to let the heat escape, since the waste is very hot. It must be allowed to cool for several decades before deep storage can be considered Then it must be confined for hundreds of thousands of years (the length of time necessary for its radioactive decay).

  • Fusion Fusion involves the fusing together of smaller nuclei to make a larger nucleus. The sun uses nuclear fusion of the hydrogen atoms, into the helium atom.This process gives off heat, light, and other radiation. What types of energy do heat, and light represent?Thermal and radiant

  • Atoms and Nuclei Inside the nucleusProtons and neutrons Outside the nucleusElectronsThere are some forms of hydrogen, however, that do contain neutrons.Hydrogen= Proton= ElectronAs you can see, there are no neutrons in elemental hydrogen in its most familiar form

  • Isotopes are elements that contain a different number of neutrons than the most common average of those elements found on Earth.Hydrogen has two isotopes, called Deuterium, and Tritium that are used as a fuel for fusion.These two hydrogen isotopes each contain neutrons, which the average hydrogen atom doesnt containthereby making these heavier atoms than normal.Deuterium and Tritium, when found in the compound H2O, make heavy water, because the atoms have a greater mass than average hydrogen.How do you determine atomic mass?

  • = neutron= protonSince nuclei carry positive charges, they normally repel one another. The higher the temperature, the faster the atoms or nuclei move. When they collide at these high speeds, they overcome the force of repulsion of the positive charges, and the nuclei fuse. In such collisions, energy is released.

    So, basically, two isotopes of hydrogen combine to form a helium atom and an extra neutron, and give off energy in the process.

  • Scientists have been working very hard on the development of nuclear fusion. They have had a difficult time learning how to control the reaction in a contained space. Fusion would be a cleaner source of energy, in that the byproducts are not radioactive as with the byproducts of fission. The temperatures necessary to continue the reaction (over 100 million degrees C[180,000,000 F]) are difficult to reach and contain.The fuels used in fusion are nearly inexhaustible.In a lab, scientists have been able to attain temperatures as high as 3.6 billion degrees Fquite a bit hotter than what is needed to sustain reactions, but with difficulty.

    The temperature on the suns surface is nearly 10,000 F, and at the core, nearly 27,000,000 F due to the energy of fusion.

  • Cold FusionCold fusion is a hypothetical type of nuclear reaction that would occur close to room temperature. For the most part, it has been rejected by the mainstream scientific community because the original experimental results could not be replicated consistently and reliably, and because there is no accepted theoretical model of cold fusion.