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Author Topic: How does nuclear power work?  (Read 2711 times)

Offline thedoc

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How does nuclear power work?
« on: 02/09/2013 10:14:20 »
An expert has said that hes deeply worried about cooling water leaks at Fukushima. But how does nuclear power work?

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« Last Edit: 02/09/2013 10:14:20 by _system »


 

Offline yor_on

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Re: How does nuclear power work?
« Reply #1 on: 02/09/2013 19:18:07 »
I don't know, for you and me it's a passing worry. for our descendants though?
I'm not pleased with TNS becoming a dummy.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: How does nuclear power work?
« Reply #2 on: 02/09/2013 20:52:37 »
Quote from: From article above
A kilogram of uranium in a nuclear reaction can release more energy by fission than 10 000 tonnes of coal, gas or oil,
I assume that is pure, elemental uranium.
How much ore went into producing that 1KG rod?  How much of the Uranium is actually used?  How much waste is produced?  We certainly need a better way to at least control the waste streams. 

And, the equation becomes much less remarkable if we are only using 10% of the Uranium & derivatives.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: How does nuclear power work?
« Reply #3 on: 02/09/2013 22:35:19 »
Ah, Fukushima, where 20,000 people drowned, 200,000 were made homeless, there is every possibility of another disastrous tsunami at any time, and the rest of the world pontificates about an entirely containable problem at the power station.

Is science completely dead (Dave Ansell's story certainly suggests so) , or do the chattering classes really not care about other people's lives and livelihoods?
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: How does nuclear power work?
« Reply #4 on: 02/09/2013 23:29:29 »
Apparently it is still leaking radiation into the sea.  But it is a good point that there are many dangers in the world other than radiation.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: How does nuclear power work?
« Reply #5 on: 03/09/2013 00:33:56 »
Quite possibly the safest place for it to go. It will upset some ecofascists, no doubt, but very few people drink seawater and there is an awful lot of it about.

It has been said that the solution to pollution is dilution. Where better than the Pacific?
 

Offline Pmb

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Re: How does nuclear power work?
« Reply #6 on: 03/09/2013 23:56:27 »
Nuclear power works by either splitting an atom or fusing two atoms into one. The former is called fission while the later is called fussion.

Fission works by the fact that a lot of energy is stored in the nucleus as electric potential energy. When the nucleus us split that energy is changed to kinetic energy. That kinetic energy is used to heat water and that water turns into steam and that steam is used to turn electric generators.

For details on nuclear fission see http://home.comcast.net/~peter.m.brown/sr/nuclear_fission.htm

That site explains why mass is not converted into energy.
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: How does nuclear power work?
« Reply #7 on: 04/09/2013 13:46:27 »
Quite possibly the safest place for it to go. It will upset some ecofascists, no doubt, but very few people drink seawater and there is an awful lot of it about.

It has been said that the solution to pollution is dilution. Where better than the Pacific?
True, but they are worried about coastal fisheries in the area, fish being very important in the Japanese diet and psyche. Also groundwater pollution from the leaky storage tanks (one shudders to think how another earthquake would affect them - oops, tragic pun!).

I understand they now plan to temporarily isolate the site by refrigeration - making a wall of frozen ground all around it using liquid nitrogen, until they figure out what to do next.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: How does nuclear power work?
« Reply #8 on: 05/09/2013 21:00:49 »

For details on nuclear fission see http://home.comcast.net/~peter.m.brown/sr/nuclear_fission.htm

That site explains why mass is not converted into energy.

...apart, that is,  from two small problems. (a) the mass sum of the fission products depicted is less than the initial mass, so some matter must have gone somewhere and (b) no neutrons were emitted, so there can be no chain reaction and the fire will go out. Probably not the most authoritative reference on nuclear fission in power reactors.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: How does nuclear power work?
« Reply #9 on: 05/09/2013 21:02:54 »

True, but they are worried about coastal fisheries in the area, fish being very important in the Japanese diet and psyche.


Except that the local fishing industry was destroyed by the tsunami.
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: How does nuclear power work?
« Reply #10 on: 05/09/2013 23:44:09 »

True, but they are worried about coastal fisheries in the area, fish being very important in the Japanese diet and psyche.


Except that the local fishing industry was destroyed by the tsunami.
I expect they're worried that it won't be able to recover.
 

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Re: How does nuclear power work?
« Reply #10 on: 05/09/2013 23:44:09 »

 

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