Lecture 0321.pptx - Energy and Climate \u2013 Vision for the Future Michael B McElroy [email protected] Relative abundance of Uranium isotope Isotope U

Lecture 0321.pptx - Energy and Climate – Vision for the...

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Energy and Climate – Vision for the Future Michael B. McElroy [email protected] March 21, 2018
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Relative abundance of Uranium isotope Isotope Relative abundance Half-life (yr) 234 U 0.0055% 245,500 235 U 0.72% 7.038×10 8 238 U 99.275% 4.468×10 9
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If the mass of the nucleus is denoted by M with the masses of the protons and neutrons given by m p and m n respectively, and if we assume that the nucleus includes n p protons and n n neutrons, and the binding energy is given by B, it follows that Nuclear Fission c = 299,792,458 m/s 3.0 x10 8 m/s
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Fission of 235 U leads to production of approximately 2.5 neutrons per fission These neutrons are very energetic (1-2MeV) Fast neutrons will interact more readily with 238 U than 235 U This would lead to production of 239 Pu (Plutonium)
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Civilian reactors use a moderator to slow the neutrons Moderators includes light water (H2O), heavy water (D2O) and graphite (carbon). Problem with light water is that the neutrons can be absorbed by H which is converted to D. Advantage of water is that it can be used as a coolant.
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Fuel is supplied to the reactor in cylindrical pellets of uranium oxide (UO2) Pellets are placed in tubes - fuel rods – composed of an alloy of zirconium. Reactor loaded with 17×17 fuel rods. Units referred to as assemblies.
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