Nuclear Reactors

Nuclear reactors are devices that maintain nuclear reactions. They are used in creating power and elements.

2,332 Questions
Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Reactors

What does china syndrome mean to a nuclear reactor?

In the most severe reactor accident, the fuel will melt and, due to radioactive decay heat, will continue to be very hot. In fact, it will be hot enough to melt through the bottom of the reactor pressure vessel (several inches of steel), and possibly melt/burn through the concrete floor of the reactor building and get into the soil beneath the building. This is what is referred to as the China syndrome, the idea being that the molten mass of fuel is heading toward China on the other side of the earth as it melts through the vessel, concrete, and then soil and rock below the reactor building.

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Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Reactors

How are breeder reactors different from regular nuclear reactors?

A breeder reactor generates (in a way) new fuel, sometimes more fuel than it uses, by converting non-fissionable isotopes into fissionable isotopes, through neutron capture.

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Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Physics
Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
Nuclear Reactors

What does nuclear moderation accomplish in a nuclear reactor?

Moderation slows or reduces the energy of neutrons in a nuclear reactor. By doing this, moderation allows continuation of the chain reaction. Neutrons will only cause more fission events when they have a specific range of energy, but they have too much energy when they are first emitted from their precipitating event, hence the need for moderation.

Moderation also regulates the reaction. In the light water moderated reactor, for instance, a common design, water is the moderator. Water is also the heat sink, carrying away the energy of the reaction to make steam which spins turbines and makes electricity. If reactivity were to increase, temperature would also increase, causing an increase in the number of voids in the water. This reduces the effectiveness of the moderator and tends to decrease reactivity. Similarly, if reactivity were to decrease, temperature would decrease, causing voids to decrease, ultimately causing reactivity to increase. Conversely, if the load changes, that will reflect back into the water temperature, causing reactivity to adjust accordingly. It is a self-stabilizing situation.

It is also a safety designed system. If there were a sudden loss of heat sink, such as a turbine load rejection, temperature would go up, causing a decrease in reactivity. If there were a steam line break, causing a depressurization incident, the water would flash to steam and the reactor would go instantly subcritical. In both of these scenarios, there would be time to insert the control rods, forcing the reactor further subcritical, and giving the emergency core cooling systems time to startup.

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Physics
Nuclear Reactors

How is a nuclear fission reaction controlled in a nuclear reactor?

Reactions that involve nuclei, called nuclear reactions, result in a tremendous amount of energy. Two types are fission and fusion.

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Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Physics
Nuclear Reactors

Why are fast neutrons not used in nuclear reactors to get nuclear energy?

Fast neutrons are used already in nuclear reactors that called fast nuclear reactors and/or fast breeder reactors.

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Physics
Chemistry
Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Reactors

What other fuel can be used in a nuclear reactor other than uranium?

Baals

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Nuclear Energy
International Relations
Nuclear Reactors

How do you reduce hazards at nuclear power stations?

There are safety concerns that come with nuclear power. To reduce hazards we must study and acknowledge the root causes of nuclear disasters that have already occurred.
A meltdown occurred at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan when it was hit by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. It was later determined the plant failed to meet basic safety requirements such as risk assessment, preparing for containing collateral damage, and developing evacuation plans. The government was not prepared for a cascading nuclear disaster. There was poor communication and delays that had a critical affect on the response. There was extensive land, groundwater and oceanic contamination.


Investigations into the Fukushima disaster revealed the man-made nature of the catastrophe. The plant was constructed in an area vulnerable to earthquakes and the international community had expressed concerns about the ability of Japan’s nuclear power plants to withstand earthquakes. A tsunami study was ignored by the developers. In March 2017, a Japanese court ruled that negligence by the Japanese government had led to the Fukushima disaster.


The Fukishima disaster was the first at that level since the meltdown at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986 in the former USSR, where the cause was determined to be human error and violation of safety procedures. Chernobyl was the most disastrous nuclear accident in world history. The site at Chernobyl is critically contaminated and of ongoing concern to the world. The international community has developed and funded a steel arch confinement cover that was installed in 2016, to help dismantle and decommission the plant and prevent the further spread of radioactive materials for another 100 years. It replaced a concrete cover that had been deteriorating and collapsing in parts for years.


Other risks include accidental releases of radiation and risk of terrorist attacks. However, the biggest risks come from the ignorance and incompetence of some of the officials who are licensed to build and operate the plants. To reduce hazards all these concerns must be acknowledged and addressed by the operators of nuclear power plants and the international community.

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Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Reactors

What happened at Three Mile Island is classified as a LOCA. What do those letters mean?

A LOCA is a loss of coolant accident. A rupture in the main coolant system resulting in a major leak of that coolant is a loss of coolant accident, or LOCA.

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Physics
Speed of Light
Nuclear Reactors

Is it true that a scientist managed to get something to travel faster than the speed of light?

No material object can exceed the maximum speed of light, 299,792 km/second in a vacuum. However, energetic electrons can reach extraordinarily high speeds, and in water can go faster than (and overtake) light radiation, which is slowed to around 224,910 km/second.

It is theoretically possible, however, that one could somehow change reference planes and cross a distance faster than the light does that remains in that reference plane. This would not be going faster than light, but merely taking a shortcut.

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Physics
Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Physics
Nuclear Reactors

In 1950 where was the first nuclear reactor?

Actually, the first reactor to achieve a self sustaining nuclear reaction was at the University of Chicago, on 2 December 1942.

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Nuclear Energy
Heavy Water
Nuclear Reactors

What is the function of heavy water in a nuclear reactor?

It's there to act as a neutron moderating fluid.

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Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Reactors
Nuclear Fission

What is used as fuel in a nuclear power station?

The nuclear fuel used in nuclear reactors include: 1. natural uranium (metal or oxide); 2. Uranium dioxide; 3. MOX fuel (Uranium Oxide + Plutonium Oxide); 4. Plutonium Oxide; and in future
5. Thorium fuel

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Physics
Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Reactors

What is the abbreviation SCRAM standing for in nuclear reactors?

This Abbreviation SCRAM stands for Safety Control Rod Axe Man. The very early nuclear reactors were equipped with a safety control rod that is kept high above and away from the reactor core. This safety control rod was attached to a rope passing over a wheel and going down where the end of the rope is fixed at a lower point. Then a man with axe is always keeping alert and watching the reactor safe operation. In case of emergency, he cuts the rope with the axe and the safety control rod drops by gravity inside the reactor core and stops the nuclear chain fission reaction and consequently stops reactor operation.

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Pollution
Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Reactors

A how many mile radius would be in danger if there was a meltdown at a nuclear power plant?

AnswerWhen the Three Mile Island plant had a meltdown in 1979 that destroyed the reactor core, there was no danger at the site boundary (which is about 1/4 mile from the plant). The reactors in operation today are of the same design and are as safe. Additional informationOn the other hand, cancer deaths in the TMI area are statistically higher than they were pre-accident. Radioactive materials were released with the vented steam from the incident. And worse accidents can occur. We engineer to avoid them, but there are contingencies that are beyond control. Earthquakes are among the most disturbing events that can affect a nuclear power plant's operation. And a big quake can cause damage that protection schemes cannot cope with. California is earthquake country, and they're looking for the next big one. There are three operating nuclear power plants along the coast. Onward to the answerAs weather conditions, particularly wind, play a major role in the distribution of radioactive material that may result from a meltdown and the failure of containment, it is impossible to say how far away one should be if concerns over this possibility are more than minor. Each plant has engineering considerations that include the assessment of "radioactive release" scenarios, and materials should be available to the public simply for the asking. Maps will show geography and possible wind activity, and will plot out possible distribution schemes.
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Physics
Speed of Light
Nuclear Reactors

Why can nothing travel at a speed faster than the speed of light?

There's no proof that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, but according to Einstein's theory of relativity as an object moves more quickly it also gains mass. Accordingly accelerating an object up to the speed of light would require infinite energy because it gets harder and harder to push the faster it goes.

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Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Reactors
Nuclear Fission

Why is coolant used in nuclear power station?

Coolant is used to get the heat produced in the nuclear fuel and transfers it to steam to turn the turbines that turns the electricity generators to produce electricity.

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Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Reactors

How many US nuclear reactors have been lost at sea?

some, also the navy deliberately sunk some because it was believed to be a safe disposal method at the time. exact counts are probably classified. Try a FOIA request or a MDR request.

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Physics
Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Physics
Nuclear Reactors

Importance of temperature control in nuclear reactor?

It is important to limit the fuel temperature so that the sheath (zircaloy) of the fuel rod is not damaged which would allow radioactivity to leak into the coolant.

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Physics
Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Reactors

Can a nuclear reactor be built underground?

It could be, but I guess the extra costs would be too high for a commercial plant

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The Difference Between
Nuclear Reactors
Nuclear Fission

What Difference between moderators and control rods in nuclear reactors?

The moderator is used to slow down the fission neutrons to increase its efficiency in producing more fission in the nuclear fuel. The control rods are used to control the nuclear reactor produced power and also to shut down the reactor.

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Health
Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Reactors

What are the causes of nuclear disasters?

Most nuclear fallouts were caused by mismanagement of a nuclear reaction/reactor (such as chernobyl), though the japanese fallouts were the cause of a last ditch effort to cripple the Japanese in their efforts to aid their coalition, the Axis of Evil, to which our current president has often made mention.

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Engineering
Nuclear Reactors

What is passive safety system for nuclear reactor?

Passive means that something will happen on it's own, depending only on laws of physics, such as gravity or pressure differentials. In this type of system the emergency core cooling systems are not dependent on electric driven water pumps to move coolant water.

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Nuclear Energy
Large Ships
Nuclear Reactors

How does a nuclear reactor power a ship?

The reactor coolant extracts the heat of nuclear fission and produces steam that turns the turbines to move the ship.

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Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Weapons
Nuclear Reactors

Why is a nuclear reactor not able to explode as a bomb?

A nuclear weapon requires highly enriched U-235 or Pu-239, whilst reactors usually don't contain fuel with more than 5 percent fissile material, this is for the vast majority true and for all power reactors. There are some small research ones that may have up to 20 percent U-235 but still not enough for a weapon. The other point is that a weapon requires a critical assembly to be put together in a very short time to get an explosion, whilst in a reactor the fissile material is spread out in an array of fuel assemblies, it could not be suddenly brought together in one mass. The worst that can happen in a reactor is overheating and melting of the fuel, which is a commercial disaster but the reactor design should contain the results in the secondary containment, with only small release of activity outside the plant boundaries. At Chernobyl the design did not have secondary containment, but it's important to realise that the explosion there was due to a surge in steam pressure, not a nuclear explosion, though fuel melting did then occur. That design would never be approved in the US or the EU areas.

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Nuclear Reactors

Which material use in glass line reactor?

which material used in glassline reactors? What is glassline material ? Basic

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