It is a powerful device, wherein the nuclear energy produced is utilized for constructive purposes. A nuclear reactor is based upon controlled nuclear chain reaction.Construction of Nuclear Power Reactor
The main components of nuclear power reactor is as follows:1. Nuclear fuel:- It is a fissionable material to be used for the fission process to take place. Generally, 92U235 is taken inside the sealed aluminium cylinders piled in fission chamber.2. Moderator:- Its function is to slow down the fast moving secondary neutrons produced during the fission.
The material should be light and it should not absorb neutrons. Usually, heavy water, graphite, deuterium and paraffin etc. can act as moderators. These moderators are rich in protons.3. Control rods:- They have the ability to capture the slow neutrons. To control the chain reactions from becoming violent, rods of boron or cadmium are inserted in the holes of the reactor core upto a desirable length.
As a result of it, the desired number of neutrons are absorbed and only limited number of neutrons are left to produce fission. These rods can be adjusted from outside the reactor, in order to control the chain reaction.4. Coolant:- A substance which is used to remove the heat produced and transfer it from the core of the nuclear reactor to the surroundings is called coolant.
At ordinary temperatures , water and heavy water serve as coolant but at high temperatures, generally liquid is used as coolant.5. Shielding:- The whole reactor is protected with concrete walls, 2 to 2.5 metres thick, so that radiations emitted during nuclear reactions may not produce harmful effects on the person working on the reactor.Uses of Nuclear Power Reactori. Nuclear reactors are used to produce radioactive isotopes which in turn are used in medicine, industry and agriculture.ii.
They are used in electric power generation.iii. They can be used for the propulsive of ships, submarines and aircrafts.iv. They are used to produce neutron beam of high intensity which is used in the treatment of cancer and nuclear research.Note: The waste of a nuclear power station is extremely hazardous to all forms of life on earth. Elaborate safety measures are needed not only for reactor operation, but also for handling and disposal of radioactive waste.