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Nuclear Power Generation

A chain reaction can be controlled by limiting the number of neutrons available for fission by an absorber ( e.g. boron). This results in a controlled release of energy - nuclear power generation.

Most of the nuclear reactors are of the water-cooled type. Basically, they all work in the same way.  Water enters the vessel in a closed cycle, separate from the environment and flows through the spaces between the fuel assemblies in the reactor core.  The fissioning of the fuel creates heat, which then is used to convert water in a separate system into steam. The steam is then fed to a turbine which drives a generator to produce electricity.

Increasing or decreasing the rate of fission and thus the amout of heat is accomplished by inserting or removing control rod assemblies. A reactor operator can stop the fission process by completely inserting the control rod assemblies in the reactor.


Last revision date: <20 Dec 2012>