Is a picture worth 1000 words? For people interested in how light water reactors work, the mix of GIF images available on the Internet sometimes falls short. Here’s a link to a beautifully designed set of animation of how one works.
It is also a good basic educational item so feel free to link to this post or copy it as needed for your nonprofit or educational use. Be sure to use the credit line below when you do.
How Nuclear Energy Works
This piece explains the process of how nuclear power works and outlines the process in a series of simple, easy-to-understand animations.
Why is nuclear power still such a heated point of debate? It may be due to the fact that people are unfamiliar with the inner workings of nuclear power.
Most don’t realize how similar a nuclear power plant actually is to any other type of power plant. The plant still heats water into steam which powers a turbine generator. This is the same way a coal plant works, for instance. The main difference is the radioactive fuel used to power the core of a nuclear plant.
Nuclear power’s source is uranium. This is a natural element found in the earth’s crust. It naturally undergoes spontaneous fission which gives off heat. A nuclear power plant’s core contains rods of uranium. These rods get submerged in a pool of water and produce an intense amount of heat. This heated water (now radioactive) never comes in touch with anything outside of the core. It moves through a pipe which heats another body of water. That body of water then produces the steam that powers a turbine which makes electricity.
This is the one of the three very cool animations at the SaveOnEnergy site. Click on this URL to see the others.
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