Nuclear power plants.

Modern human needs for energy are growing with enormous speed.Increases its consumption for lighting cities, industrial and other needs of the economy.Accordingly, it emits more and more soot from combustion of coal and heavy oil, increasing the greenhouse effect.In addition, more and more talk in recent years about the commissioning of electric vehicles, which also will contribute to the increase of electricity consumption.

Unfortunately, environmentally friendly hydroelectric cover such huge needs are not able to, and further increase the number of thermal power plants and CHP is simply impractical.What is done in this case?And choose something especially not from what: the nuclear power stations at their correct operation are an excellent way out of the impasse of energy.

Despite what happened in Chernobyl, even bearing in mind the recent bad luck of Japanese scientists around the world recognize that the peaceful atom - the only solution of the approaching energy crisis today.Widely touted alternative energy sources do not provide even a hundredth part of the volume of electricity that the world needs every day.

In addition, even the explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant has not put the environment and the hundredth part of the damage, which is celebrated even with a disaster at the oil platform.The incident with the BP - a clear confirmation.

principle of operation of a nuclear reactor

heat source is fuel elements - TVEL.In fact, this tube of a zirconium alloy which is weakly exposed degeneration even in the active zone of the atoms.Tablets are placed inside the uranium dioxide or nibs from an alloy of uranium and molybdenum.Inside the reactor tube arranged into an assembly, each of which contains 18 fuel elements.

total assembly can be nearly two thousand, and they are placed in the channels inside the graphite stack.It generates heat collected by the heat carrier, and two modern nuclear power plants in the circulation loop.In the second of which the water does not interact with the reactor core, which significantly increases the safety of the structure as a whole.The reactor itself has in the mine, and for graphite masonry, a special capsule is made of the same zirconium alloy (30 mm thick).

The entire structure rests on an extremely massive base of high-strength concrete, which is located under the pool.It serves to cool the nuclear fuel in the event of an accident.

The operating principle is simple: the fuel rods are heated, heat is transferred from them to the primary coolant (liquid sodium, deuterium), after which the energy is transferred to the secondary circuit, within which under immense pressure water circulates.She immediately begins to boil and the steam spins the turbine generators.Thereafter, the steam flows into the condensing device reverts to the liquid state, and then sent again to the secondary circuit.


In the second half of the 40s in the Soviet Union were to make every effort to create a project that involves the peaceful use of nuclear energy.The famous academician Kurchatov, speaking at a regular meeting of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, put forward a proposal on the use of nuclear energy in power generation, in which the country is recovering from a terrible war, desperately needed.

In 1950 began the construction of a nuclear power plant (the first in the world, by the way), which was laid in the village of Obninsk in the Kaluga region.Four years later, the station, which had a capacity of 5 MW, was successfully launched.The uniqueness of the event in the fact that our country has become the first country in the world that has managed to effectively use the atom for peaceful purposes.

Continuation of

Already in 1958, work began on the design of the Siberian plant.The design capacity increased just 20 times, making for 100 MW.But the uniqueness of the situation is not even that.When the station passed, it returns amounted to 600 MW.Scientists have just a couple of years managed to natolko improve the design and effectiveness of such recently seemed to do the impossible.

However, nuclear power plants the vast Union then did not grow worse mushrooms.So, after a couple of years after the Siberian Beloyarsk NPP was launched.Soon the station was built in Voronezh.In 1976 he was commissioned Kursk Nuclear Power Plant reactors which in 2004 were seriously upgraded.

Generally, nuclear power plants were under construction in a planned way the entire postwar period.Only the Chernobyl disaster could slow down the process.

How fared abroad

should not assume that such developments were only in our country.The British were well aware how important could be nuclear power stations, and therefore actively working in this direction.So, in 1952 they started their own project to design and build nuclear power plants.Four years later, the town of Calder Hall was the first British atomic city with its own power plant by 46 MW.In 1955, officially put into operation a nuclear power plant in the US city of Shippingport.Its capacity was equal to 60 MW.Since then, nuclear power plants have begun its triumphal march around the world.

Threats peaceful atom

first euphoria of taming the atom soon gave way to anxiety and fear.Of course, the most serious was the Chernobyl disaster, but the plant was "Mayak" accident with nuclear reactors in the Premier League, as well as other incidents, many of which we will probably never know.The consequences of these accidents made people think about raising the level of culture of the use of atomic energy.In addition, humanity once again realized that he could not resist the elemental forces of nature.

much light the world of science for a long time discussing how to make nuclear plants safer.In Moscow in 1989 was compiled by the World Assembly on the results of the meeting which was concluded on the need to drastically tighten control over nuclear energy.

Today the world community are closely watching how all these agreements are respected.However, no monitoring and control can not be saved from natural disasters or banal stupidity.This once again confirmed the accident at the "Fukushima-1", which resulted in hundreds of millions of tons of radioactive water poured out into the Pacific Ocean.Generally, Japan, the nuclear power station which - the only way to ensure the needs of industry and huge population of electricity from nuclear power construction program has not refused.


All NPP can be classified according to the type of energy produced, as well as its model the reactor.Also takes into account the degree of security, the type of construction, as well as other important parameters.

That's how they are classified by the type of energy produced:

  • nuclear power plant.The only energy that produces them is electricity.
  • nuclear power plant.In addition to electricity, these installations also produce heat, which makes them particularly valuable for placing in the northern cities.There NPP operation can dramatically reduce the region's dependence on fuel supplies from other regions.

fuel used and other characteristics

most common are nuclear reactors as fuel for that use enriched uranium.Coolant - light water.Called light-water reactors are similar, and they distinguish two varieties.In the first case, the steam, which serves to rotate the turbine, is formed in the reactor core.

the vapor in the second case serves as a heat sink system, through which the water in the core does not arrive.By the way, to develop the system started in the 50s of the last century, and it served as the basis for the development of the US military.Around the same time it has been developed in the USSR reactor of the first type, but the retardation system, which is used as the graphite rods.

It appeared so cooled reactor, which is used by many nuclear power plants in Russia.Rapid acceleration stations construction of this model has been associated with the fact that as a byproduct were given reactor grade plutonium.Moreover, as fuel for a variety of conventional approaches even natural uranium deposits in our country, which is very large.

Another type of reactors that are quite widespread in the world, is the model of heavy water and natural uranium as fuel.First, these models were created almost all the countries that had access to nuclear reactors, but today their number is part of the exploiters alone Canada, in the depths of which there are rich deposits of natural uranium.As

improved reactors?

first for the manufacture of shells of fuel elements and circulation channels used ordinary steel.The moment was not yet aware of the zirconium alloys, which are suitable for such purposes much better.The reactor was cooled with water supplied under pressure 10 atmospheres.

released when this vapor had a temperature of 280 degrees.All channels, which housed the fuel rods were made removable, as they require relatively frequent replacing.The fact that in the zone of activity of nuclear fuel materials quite rapidly undergo deformation and destruction.In fact, the structural elements in the core are designed for 30 years, but in such cases the optimism is not valid.

fuel rods

In this case, the researchers decided to use the option of a one-way tube cooling.This design dramatically reduces the chances of getting fission products in a heat exchange circuit, even in the event of damage to the fuel element.The very same nuclear fuel is an alloy of uranium and molybdenum.This decision has created a relatively inexpensive and reliable equipment that can operate stably even in a significant increase in temperature.


Oddly enough, but the infamous Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which became a symbol of man-made disasters of the last century, is a true triumph of science.At that time, in its construction and design used the most advanced technology.Power alone reached 3200 MW reactor.Fuel was also new: the first to use the Chernobyl dioxide enriched natural uranium.One ton of this fuel contains a total of 20 kilograms of uranium-235.Overall, the reactor refuel on 180 tons of uranium dioxide.So far it is not known who and why has decided to conduct an experiment on the station, which is contrary to all conceivable safety regulations.

nuclear power plants in Russia

If not for the Chernobyl disaster in our country (most likely) would still be continued program to the widest possible and widespread construction of nuclear power plants.In any case, this approach has been planned in the USSR.

Generally, immediately after Chernobyl, many programs have become massively phased out, which immediately led to higher prices for many of the "clean" grade coolants.In many areas they were forced to return to the construction of thermal power station, which (including) are working, even on the corner, continuing to pollute the atmosphere monstrously large cities.

In the mid 2000s, the government still recognized the need for development of the nuclear program, since without it is simply impossible to provide many areas of our country the energy in the required amount.

How many nuclear power plants at present there in our country?Only ten.Yes, it is all Russian nuclear power plants.But even that their number generates more than 16% of the energy consumed by our citizens.Power of 33 units, which operate as part of the nuclear power plants is 25.2 GW.Almost 37% of the needs of our northern regions cover electricity is nuclear power stations.

One of the most famous is the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant, built in 1973.There is an ongoing intensive construction of the second stage, which will increase the power output (4000 MW) at least twice.

Ukrainian NPP

Soviet Union did a lot including the development of energy in the Union republics.Thus, Lithuania once received not only an excellent infrastructure and a lot of industry, but also the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant, which until 2005 was a real "chicken pock-marked" which provides almost all Baltic cheap (and his!) Energy.

But the main gift to Ukraine, which won just four power plants.Zaporizhia nuclear power in general is the most powerful in Europe, giving just 6 GWh of energy.In general, nuclear power stations in Ukraine give it an opportunity to provide themselves with electricity than not boast the same Lithuania.

now works all the same four stations: Zaporizhzhya, Rivne, South-Ukrainian and Khmelnitsky.Contrary to popular belief, the third block of Chernobyl nuclear power plant continued to operate until 2000, regularly supplying the region with electricity.At the moment, 46% of Ukrainian electricity it produces nuclear power plants in Ukraine.

strange political ambitions of power in the country led to the fact that in 2011 it was decided to replacement of fuel rods Russian American.The experiment was a total failure, and the Ukrainian industry has been damaged almost $ 200 million.


Today, all over the world are reminded about the benefits of the peaceful atom.The whole city can be powered by a small and primitive nuclear power plant, which is spending a year about 2 tons of fuel.How much for the same period will have to burn gas or coal?So the prospects for huge technology: traditional forms of energy are increasing in price, and their number is reduced.