Nuclear Power Stations

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  • Created by: Heather
  • Created on: 14-03-13 11:12
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  • How A Power Station Works
    • Control rods
      • Made of material with high neutron absorbing ability
        • Eg Boron and Cadmium
      • They absorb neutrons to ensure the reaction happens at a critical rate
      • To shut the reaction down they are fully submersed
      • Without these the reactor becomes a bomb
    • Coolant
      • Extracts the energy and delivers it to water which then boils
      • It must :    have a high specific heat capacity, be non corrosive and have stability at high temperatures
        • Eg. Water and Carbon dioxide
      • As it passes through the reactor it becomes radioactive
        • Loss of coolant results in a melt down
    • Fuel Rods
      • Only  0.7% of uranium is U-235 (The one that fission's)
        • Because of this the uranium in reactors is enriched to about 3%
    • Moderators
      • Neutrons released are too fast to start another fission
        • A moderator absorbs their excess energy via elastic collisions
      • Moderators must have a low neutron absorbing ability so they are not removed
        • eg graphite


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