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Nuclear Power
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  1. Nuclear Power Michael Oliver and Diana Olsen

  2. Personal Background 6 months Navy Nuclear Field ‘A’ school 6 months Navy Nuclear Power School 6 months Nuclear Field Prototype School 4 years on board the USS Nimitz/USS Enterprise as a Reactor Operator

  3. Fission 1938 Hahn and Strassman fired neutrons from the elements radium and beryllium into uranium. The sums of the fission products’ masses did not equal uranium’s atomic mass. Uranium underwent fission, converting some its mass to energy, thus proving Einstein’s theory. General History

  4. Fission Graphically

  5. First Reactors December 2, 1942 Chicago Pile became the first self-sustaining chain-reaction. Relatively small, total output power was 200W First reactors built so quick because it was during World War II General History

  6. After the War 1946 Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was created Energy Act of 1954, first steps towards commercial use of nuclear power Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, replaced the AEC with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission NRC responsibilities include licensing operators and plants General History

  7. Reactor Licensing Process

  8. Radiation “Radiation consists of several types of subatomic particles, called gamma rays, neutrons, electrons and so on, that shoot through space at very high speeds, something like 100,000 miles per second” They can penetrate your skin, cause biological damage to our cells, potentially resulting in cancer or genetic defects. Getting exposed to radiation

  9. Radiation The average person is struck with about 15,000 of these subatomic particles daily from natural sources Probability that one of these subatomic particles will actually cause cancer is 1 in 50 million billion.

  10. NRC Regulations Rem—amount of ionizing radiation required to produce the same biological effect as one rad of high penetration x-rays 5,000 mrem/year to the whole body 50,000 mrem/year to an organ, the skin, or extremity 15,000 mrem/year to the lens of an eye 500 mrem/year to a pregnant woman 100mrem/year to the general public

  11. Perspective Chest radiograph – 3.2 mrem X-rays from TV set 1” away - 0.5mrem/hour Airplane ride at 39,000 ft. 0.500mrem/hour Natural Gas in your home 9mrem/year If you actually work in the power plant 0.6mrem/year Average dose from nuclear power plant less than 0.1mrem/year Average dose from coal fire power plant 0.165mrem/year

  12. Relative Radiation Dosage

  13. Radiation Sickness Earliest onset is 75,000 mrem Genetic defects occur at 100,000 mrem Expected death without medial treatment occurs at 400,000 mrem

  14. Deaths by TW • • Energy Source Death Rate (deaths per TWh) • Coal electricity – world avg60 • (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity) • Coal (elect,heat,cook)– China 170 • Coal electricity- China 90 • Coal – USA 15 • Oil 36 • (36% of world energy) • Natural Gas 4 • (21% of world energy) • Biofuel/Biomass 12 • Peat 12 • Solar (rooftop) 0.44 • (0.2% of world energy for all solar) • Wind 0.15 • (1.6% of world energy) • Hydro 0.10 • (Europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy) • Hydro - world including Banqiao) 1.4 • (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead) • Nuclear 0.04 • (5.9% of world energy)

  15. Pressurized Water Reactors Maintains water in liquid state by high pressure • Water is heated in the reactor vessel • RCPs pump hot water through S/G, which heats secondary water supply • Secondary water boils, producing steam • Steam drives the turbines • Turbines drive the generatorwhich produces electricity

  16. Pressurized Nuclear Reactor Plant

  17. Boiling water reactors • Water boils directly in the reactor vessel • Steam is carried through pipes directly to the turbine • Which drives the generator • Which produces electricity

  18. Boiling Water Reactor Plant

  19. Reactor Pressure Vessel • Fuel - Uranium 235 and Uranium 238 • Water – acts as a coolant, moderator, and heat transfer agent • Control rod drive mechanisms – used to maintain level of desired reactivity

  20. Containment Building • Purpose: Prevent the release of fission products to the general public • 45” of steel-reinforced concrete • 2.5” of steel reinforcement rods • 36” of concrete shielding • 8” of steel for the reactor vessel • ¼” steel linder

  21. Molten Fluoride Salt Thorium Reactor * * * Design in Progress * * *

  22. Molten Fluoride Salt Thorium Reactor Wouldn’t have potential of core meltdown: plug in bottom of core would allow for salt to drain Able to operate at lower pressures  wouldn’t need very thick concrete containment vessel More advantages: check out TED talk video

  23. Three Mile Island March 28, 1979, accident started with the failure of the cooling system “Within two minutes after the start of the accident the steam generators boiled dry, because they had no feed water source and there was a substantial heat output from the reactor core due to radioactive decay”

  24. Misconceptions Myth: The accident would result in a large release of radioactive material Fact: The accident was over exaggerated and there was relatively little, to no, actual damage to the reactor

  25. Reality The average exposure to the general public was 1.2 mrem. After the initial clean up of TMI-2 reactor many were surprised the pressure vessel itself withstood the molten fuel on the bottom Accident has no associated deaths, or significant injuries

  26. Greenhouse Gas Problem In 2011 nuclear generated electricity prevented the release of 613 million metric tons of carbon dioxide Equivalent to taking 118 million cars of the roads Possible because nuclear power does not burn anything

  27. Waste Dr. Bernard Cohen: “ The Nuclear waste is 5 million times smaller by weight and billions of times smaller by volume [ than coal-burning waste]. The nuclear waste from one year of operation weighs about 1.5 tons and would occupy a volume of half a cubic yard, which means it would fit under an ordinary card table with lots of room to spare. Since the quantity is so small it can be handled with a care and sophistication that is completely out of the question for the millions of tons of waste spewed out annually from our analogous coal-burning plants. [Also,] if all the air pollution emitted from a coal plant in one day were inhaled by people 1.5 million people could die from it, which is 10 times the number that could be killed by ingesting or inhaling the waste produced in one day by a nuclear power plant.”

  28. Waste 2,000 metric tons annually Securely managed on site in used fuel pools, lined with steel After cooling, are put in dry casks Fuel rods replaced every 15-18 months, so overtime have the issue of space General consensus, safest way to dispose of nuclear wastes is in a specialized facility 1,650 feet below the ground. 1.7 million miles, over 3,000 shipments, in the past 40 years, with no harmful radiation effects to general public or environment

  29. Future D.O.E believes the U.S will need an additional 250,000 MW of electric generation capacity by 2035 Nuclear power has lower production cost than their analogous coal or natural gas plants Overall lower production costs Technological advances and a better understanding of reactor power has improved nuclear power plant efficiency since 1990, raising total electricity output by an amount equal to building 28 new reactors