NUCLEAR FUEL Nuclear fuel is any material that can be consumed to derive nuclear energy. The most common type of nuclear fuel is fissile elements that can be made to undergo nuclear fission chain reactions in a nuclear reactor

The most common nuclear fuels are 235U and 239Pu. Not all nuclear fuels are used in fission chain reactions

NUCLEAR FISSION
When a neutron strikes an atom of uranium, the uranium splits ingto two lighter atoms and releases heat simultaneously.

Fission of heavy elements is an exothermic reaction which can release large amounts of energy both as electromagnetic radiation and as kinetic energy of the fragments

the uranium splits ingto two lighter atoms and releases heat simultaneously.NUCLEAR FISSION When a neutron strikes an atom of uranium. Fission of heavy elements is an exothermic reaction which can release large amounts of energy both as electromagnetic radiation and as kinetic energy of the fragments .

This nucleus in turn produces neutrons.NUCLEAR CHAIN REACTIONS A chain reaction refers to a process in which neutrons released in fission produce an additional fission in at least one further nucleus. If the process is controlled it is used for nuclear power or if uncontrolled it is used for nuclear weapons . and the process repeats.

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In that case.024 fissions and in 80 generations about 6 x 10 23 (a mole) fissions.Nuclear Reaction U235 + n fission + 2 or 3 n + 200 MeV If each neutron releases two more neutrons. in 10 generations there are 1. then the number of fissions doubles each generation. .

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therefore the plant site should be located where ample quantity of water is available. .Following points should be kept in view while selecting the site for a nuclear power station (i)Availabilty of Water As sufficient of water is required for the cooling purposes.

(ii) Disposal of Waste The waste produced by fission in nuclear power staiton is generally radio active which must be disposed off properly to avoid health hazards.Therefore the site selected for such a plant should have adequate arrangement for the disposal of radio active waste.The waste should either be burried in a deep trunch or disposed off in a sea quite away from the sea shore. .

as a precautionary measure.However. .(iii)Distance from populated areas The site selected for a nuclear power station should be quite away from the populated areas as there is a danger of presence of radio activity inthe atmosphere near the plant.a dome is used in the plant which doesnot allow the radioactivity to spread by wind or underground waterways.

From the above mentioned factors it become apparent thatideal choice for a nuclear power station would be near sea or river and away from thickly populated areas.(iv)Transportation Facilities The site selected for a nuclear power station should have adequate facilites inorder to transport the heavy equipments during erection and to facilitate the movement of workers in the plant. .

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‡ Harmful radioactive emissions can cause skin cancer and genetically alter the DNA of people coming into contact with them. it causes a number of health hazards for anyone who comes into contact with the radiation from this waste. the effects of which will be passed on to the descendants of these victims for many generations to come. ‡ Secondly. meaning it does not decompose naturally under the affect of the atmosphere. .Disposal of Nuclear Waste ‡ Why is nuclear waste an issue? ‡ Nuclear waste is a cause for concern because it is not bio-degradable.

Sources of nuclear waste ‡ Spent fuel from nuclear reactors ‡ Waste left after reprocessing of spent fuel ‡ Waste obtained from dismantling of nuclear weapons ‡ Waste from industrial. medical and other sectors. .

The container is enclosed in yet another water-tight metal container and dumped into the ocean. containers made of borosilicate glass are filled up with nuclear waste.Methods used for disposal of nuclear waste ‡ Deep ocean disposal: ‡ In this method. This glass has the capacity to prevent any nuclear radiation from leaking out. .

‡ Deep geological burial: The containers used in this method are similar to the ones used in the deep ocean disposal system. The materials are buried deep under the earth for thousands of years and allowed to settle into a safe level of radioactivity . in less-populated areas. But in this case. ‡ This method depends on the natural decaying ability of the radioactive material for its success. the containers are buried deep underground.

the recycling process is not feasible at present because many countries do not have proper facilities to implement this method. in which the uranium. The advantage of doing this is that these products can be re-used or disposed of more easily. . ‡ However. plutonium and other fission products are separated into different streams using chemical processes.‡ Nuclear waste recycling: It is a new waste disposal method being looked into. and it is also a costly process.

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