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The history advancements and modern uses of nuclear energy

Several of the operators were trying to force the stuck resin out with compressed air. This tactic was not working so they decided to try something different. Instead they decided to blow the compressed air into the water and let the force of the water clear the resin.

Unfortunately, when they forced the resin out, a little bit of water forced its way past a leaking valve and found its way into the controls of the feedwater pump. With the rapid increase in heat and pressure inside the reactor, the control rods automatically lowered to stop the reaction. Then the relief valve should have closed to stop feeding steam into the system but it failed. As a result, the coolant system quickly lost pressure trying to cool off the increasingly warming system and the influx of steam, with nowhere to go, continued to increase the pressure.

However, the valves supplying the auxiliary coolant were closed, a violation of rules by the NRC.

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The auxiliary valves had been closed several days earlier to test the system and no one reopened them. It was at this point, just three minutes into the accident, when the operators intervened for the first time. None of the operators knew what had happened or what was going on. They did not suspect that the issue was caused by a leak in the cooling system.

So one of the operators, thinking the issue was an overfilled pressurizer, decided to cut the feedwater pumps and open a valve to drain some of the excess water.

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This action only made the problem worse. It was at this point, when the Unit 2 reactor was doomed. Once the reactor was exposed it began to melt and caused irreparable damage to the reactor. Once discovered, the valves were quickly opened. It was not until 6: At this point, the reactor began to split some of the water into oxygen and hydrogen, allowing the hydrogen to form an explosive bubble in the top of the containment dome. This explosion, more than anything else, probably saved the plant.

The hydrogen bubble exploding at this point probably saved the plant because this smaller explosion would stop an even greater amount of hydrogen from building up, such that, if there were a later hydrogen bubble, as there was, it could not be as big. However, things had progressed too far as the reactor had partially melted and the system was dangerously radioactive. If this bubble were to explode, it would breach the containment dome and cause a widespread release of radiation.

The only way to make sure that the hydrogen bubble would not become an issue would be to vent the radioactive gas into the atmosphere. As many as 50 nuclear reactors were canceled in the US in the five years following the accident. Following the accident, safety requirements became much more demanding and communities became more anti-nuclear. The consensus by the scientific community was that the automatic safety procedures the plant tried to undertake to save itself worked well.

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If the plant were left to run on its own, the accident would not have happened. If they do not draw power, then there is a chance of core damage.

The future of nuclear energy

The evening shift had set up the test and begun the experiment when the shift change happened and the night shift took over. When the night shift came in, the plant was still shutting down. For the experiment to be a success, the plant must be in a state above 700 megawatts 700MW. However, when the operators came in, the plant was below 700MW and decreasing. With this, the reactor was in an almost shut down state.

  • Support was also given by Laboratory No;
  • Creager is also the author of "The Life of a Virus;
  • Over the next 30 years, the vision from nuclear's early days—of thousands of reactors pumping out emissions-free energy—was tempered by economics and politics;
  • Research had three main aims;
  • The most recent high-profile application of SIT has been in the fight against the deadly Zika virus in Brazil and the broader Latin America and Caribbean region;
  • Following its outbreak, impacted countries requested urgent support from the IAEA to help develop the established technique to suppress populations of disease-carrying mosquitoes.

In order to reestablish conditions for the test, the control rods were pulled almost all the way out and an increase of coolant was poured into the core, leaving the reactor in a very unstable state. When the experiment was started, coolant flow into the core decreased dramatically and caused a rapid rise in the reactor power and heat output, converting most of the water to steam.

It was at this point that the control rods were lowered to stop the rapid core power increase. However, the design of the Soviet control rods has a graphite tip which when inserted into the reactor, displaces coolant and temporarily increases the nuclear reaction.

This caused a massive power spike and led to an explosion that all but destroyed the core. The Aftermath It was not until two days later that the accident was discovered outside of the Soviet Union.

It was first detected by Sweden when radiation detectors at one of their nuclear plants noticed an increased level of radiation. The Soviet Union did not announce to the world that it had a nuclear problem until almost three days after the accident occurred. The immediate effects of the Chernobyl explosion were the death of almost 40 people from the initial explosion and radiation release. Approximately half a million other Soviet citizens suffered radiation levels well above normal and many received dangerously high levels.

Internationally, the radiation spread all over mainland Europe, affecting every country except Spain and Portugal. In Scandinavia, millions of reindeer had to be killed because of high radiation levels in their bodies. Their population levels may never recover. Eastern power plants had major overhauls including increased speed of control rod lowering, more pure uranium, no more graphite tips on control rods, and lower power output during a power outage.

Few changes were made in western reactors because the accident could not occur with a western design. Perhaps the most indirect effect of the nuclear accident was the opening up of the Soviet Union. The destruction of Chernobyl helped to end the Cold War.

History of Nuclear Energy

Also in the future for nuclear energy is the potential for nuclear fusion. Fusion is still a long way off however, and research into the workings of the technology has been going on since the 1950s with very little headway. Scientists are hopeful that, within the next 30 to 50 years, we will have controlled nuclear fusion.

Conclusion The history of nuclear power has been one of both great optimism and fear.