Nuclear Energy

Kieran C
Mind Map by , created 2 months ago

Nuclear energy from Environmental Science A-Level

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Kieran C
Created by Kieran C 2 months ago
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Nuclear Energy
1 Uranium Extraction
1.1 Polymer Adsorption
1.1.1 Uranium dissolved in seawater adsorbs onto polymers
1.1.1.1 The uranium can be washed off using acids and concentrated
1.2 Phosphate Mining
1.2.1 Uranium in phosphate desposites can be seperated in the phosphate mines
1.3 Coal Ash
1.3.1 Uranium can be extracted from coal ash
1.3.1.1 This will become economic if the price of uranium rises enough
2 New Reactor Designs
2.1 Molten Salt Reactors
2.1.1 Using molten salt as a collant makes reactor far more efficent
2.1.1.1 It can operate at much higher temps high without needing high pressure to prevent the coolant boiling
2.1.2 Much smaller than gas-cooled reactors so are cheaper to consturct
2.2 Plutonium Reactors
2.2.1 Most reactors work by fission of Uranium 235
2.2.1.1 Uranium 235 is only 0.7% of the uranium in the mined ore
2.2.1.1.1 The remaining 99.3% is uranium 238 which is not fissile
2.2.1.1.1.1 However U238 can be converted into Plutonium 239 by neutron bombardment
2.2.1.1.1.1.1 An isotope that is not in itself a fissile fuel but can be converted into a fissile fuel by neutron bombardment is called a "fertile fuel"
2.2.1.1.1.1.1.1 These reactions use breeder reactors. These reactors release energy for electricity and can produce more new fissile fuel than they use
2.3 Thorium Reactors
2.3.1 Thorium 232 is not fissile, however it is a fertile fuel and can be converted into Uranium 233
2.3.2 The reactor has rods of U233 which release energy and neutrons to maintain the chain reaction
2.3.2.1 There are also rods of Th232 in the reactor core which breed U233 as they become bombarded with neutrons
2.3.2.1.1 The U233 can be extracted to make new fuel rods
3 Nuclear Fusion
3.1 Joining the nuclei of small atoms such as isotopes of hydrogen e.g. deuterium
3.2 Energy source of all stars but producing controllable fusion on a small scale on Earth has proven difficult
3.3 Fuel sources
3.3.1 Deuterium
3.3.1.1 Hydrogen 2, extracted from water
3.3.2 Tritium
3.3.2.1 Hydrogen 3, produced by neutron bombardment of lithium
4 Solar Nuclear Fusion
4.1 Consists of 70% H and 28% He
4.2 Every second 508 million tonnes of H are converted to He
4.3 Fusion occurs ar temps around 15 million oC
4.4 Average temp of sun is 6000 oC
4.5 The energy then leaves the sun as short wave radiation
5 Toroidal Reactors
5.1 Torus reactors such as the Joint European Torus (JET) bear Oxford
5.2 If it is actually possible, may not be commercially viable for many years
5.3 ITER
5.3.1 A new tokamak reactor that builds on the knowledge gained from JET
5.3.2 Should be operational around 2025
5.3.2.1 500MW output from 50MW input
5.3.3 Maintain fusion for longer periods
5.3.4 Use a blanket of lithium around the reactor to breed new tritium fuel
6 Laser Fusion - HiPER
6.1 High Powered laser Energy Research
6.2 Research's Laser fusion
6.3 Small scale fusion that avoids the problems of plasma containment and refuelling as with torus reactors
6.4 Small spheres of frozen deuterium and tritium would be dropped into intense laser beam to initiate fusion
6.5 Construction planned to take place from the late 2020's

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