Nuclear Energy

How does scientists create nuclear fuels?


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2011-05-20 07:27:10
2011-05-20 07:27:10
  1. Uranium ore (usually black oxide) is mined.
  2. Uranium ore is shipped to Mill.
  3. Mill separates Uranium from ore and converts black oxide to yellow oxide (yellowcake).
  4. Yellowcake is shipped to Enrichment plant.
  5. Preprocessing plant converts yellowcake to Uranium Hexafluoride (the only Uranium compound that is a gas near room temperature, but also corrosive to almost every metal except nickel and explosive in contact with either water or oil!!!)
  6. Enrichment plant enriches the Uranium in the Uranium Hexafluoride gas from 0.72% Uranium-235 (natural level) to 3% Uranium-235 (power reactor fuel level)
  7. Postprocessing plant converts enriched Uranium Hexafluoride to enriched yellowcake.
  8. Yellowcake is shipped to fuel pellet Canning plant.
  9. Canning plant cans yellowcake in Zirconium alloy fuel pellet cans.
  10. Fuel pellets are shipped to fuel rod Assembly plant.
  11. Assembly plant inserts fuel pellets into steel fuel rod tubes.
  12. Fuel rods are shipped to Reactor.
  13. Fuel rods are inserted in Reactor as needed.

This is the basic outline from mine to a water moderated & cooled reactor. There are many additional minor steps along the way. For other reactor designs (e.g. metal cooled fast breeder reactor, gas cooled high temperature graphite moderated pebble bed reactor, liquid metal fueled reactor) several of the basic steps themselves will have to change.

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Related Questions

Physicists and nuclear scientists create atomic bombs.

The nuclear reaction creates heat. The heat is used to create steam and run a steam generator.

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Nuclear fuels are extremely dangerous and the station could explode.

Nuclear energy does not come from fossil fuels

Fossil fuels are made from decayed fossil material found below the surface of the Earth. Nuclear fuel is made from generating nuclear fission or fusion.

For example, nuclear fuels.

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fossil fuel is made by the nature and nuclear fuel is not made by the nature

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Extracting energy from nuclear fuels is more expensive than extracting energy from fossil fuels.

Nuclear fission in nuclear reactors does not use any fossil fuel. Fossel fuels are burned or combusted to release heat energy, but nuclear fuels don't make use of fossil fuels to generate heat energy.

Plutonium obtained in nuclear reactors with uranium fuels after recycling of the burned fuels can be used also as a nuclear fuel.

Well, scientists have been researching fusion reactors for over 50 years, but nuclear fusion is much more difficult to achieve than nuclear fission, which is what current nuclear power technology is based on. There are many reasons for this, but while there have been tests and advancements in the field, scientists have yet to a) create a sustainable and stable nuclear fusion reaction and b) create a reaction that has a greater output than input.

Examples: energy from fossil fuels, energy from nuclear fuels.

Because they contain releasable excess energy in some form. Chemical fuels contain chemical energy, nuclear fuels contain nuclear energy, etc.

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Answerfossil fuels, because nuclear energy will always be on earth no matter what.AnswerSince neither fossil fuels nor nuclear fuels are renewable, we will run out of both.Our supply of nuclear may outlast our supply of oil, but it will not outlast our supply of coal or oil shale.The good news is that technology is developing very quickly for renewable energy, so we will probably need neither fossil fuels nor nuclear in the long term.

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