lecture 12 Notes

lecture 12 Notes - LECTURE 12 Nuclear Energy Nuclear Share...

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LECTURE 12 Nuclear Energy Nuclear Share in Electricity Generation in 2008: o The US produces ~20% of its electricity by Nuclear Power (NP) o Nuclear Power is used to generate electricity o France generates ~77% of its electricity using NP Nuclear power is used heavily in France After oil shocks of early 1980s, France turned to nuclear power with the aim to reduce reliance on foreign oil imports Development of Nuclear Energy in France is financed by the government and has the support of the public opinion. o Lithuania generates ~73% of its electricity using NP o DEVELOPMENT OF NUCLEAR ENERGY IN THE US: Enrico Fermi ’s group achieves controlled fission in 1942 at the University of Chicago In the 1950 s, the US starts to be an oil importer and it is believed the Nuclear Energy would have been cheap In 1951 the first reactor produces Nuclear Energy in the US Orders for reactor units soar between 1966-19974 Long construction times required for large, complex plants slowed development Orders for new units fell off sharply after 1974 Chief reason for this was economic Nuclear power plants are costly to build Utilities began building large plants before much experience had been gained with small ones Expected economies of scale did not materialize Nuclear power plants had to compete with declining operating costs of conventional coal- or natural gas- fired plants These trends disillusioned many utilities and investors No new plants built since the 1970s Nuclear energy comes from fission of nuclei from radioactive elements, such as 235 U (the U isotope that is “fissionable”) Nuclear fission : a nuclear reaction in which the nucleus of an atom splits into smaller parts, producing free neutrons, lighter nuclei and energy (heat) To artificially produce this reaction, we “strike” 235 U nuclei with slow moving neutrons This sets off a chain reaction where more neutrons are generated A controlled chain reaction releases heat An uncontrolled chain reaction releases huge and dangerous amounts of energy (A-Bomb!)
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The life cycle of uranium : Geological processes concentrate fluids
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This note was uploaded on 10/04/2011 for the course GEOS 1024 taught by Professor Meschreiber during the Spring '08 term at Virginia Tech.

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lecture 12 Notes - LECTURE 12 Nuclear Energy Nuclear Share...

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