November 8th 2016 archive

How Things Work: Nuclear Power Plant Model

Going into this project I was very excited because I love building and putting together posters and models. I find making a physical copy of something makes it easier and more fun to learn about.

Nuclear 3D Model Questions

1. The first main part is the reactor core. It consists of fuel elements, control rod, coolant, moderator and pressure vessels. The second main part is the reflector. This is placed around the core to reflect some of the neutrons that leak from the cores surface. The third main part is the control rods. This absorbs the neutrons so it can maintain or stop a reaction. Helps shut down the reactor in emergency situations. Free neutrons hit a uranium atom and split it. Nuclear energy starts from splitting of the uranium atom. This is called fission; it generates heat to produce steam which is used by a turbine. Because they do not burn fuel they do not produce greenhouse gas emissions. Which is better for the environment.

2. Dangers: Although nuclear power plants are one of the less harmful energy sources it is still very harmful. When you enrich uranium it harms the environment. If a serious accident occurred large amounts of dangerous radiation which can cause an increased risk of cancer to people that are exposed. It does not emit air pollution, isolates its waste from the environment and does not require a huge amount of land.

3. Ethical Implications: Nuclear power plants are defiantly a more efficient way of producing electricity however it can be very harmful to the environment. If the uranium fuel were to leak it can cause many health issues such as loss of breath, illness and if touched by heat could blow up.

4. Environmental Implications: Nuclear power plants are one of the cleanest forms of energy as it does not emit air pollution. However, uranium is radioactive so if it were to some how leak out it could kill of people and animals in our world.

From the beginning of this project I felt very comfortable and confident about the collaboration as we got to choose our partners. This made it easier because we already knew how our partners worked and we didn’t need to take time to see how each other work we could get started right away. If we were to do this all over again I think we should’ve researched first and then started throwing out ideas of how to build the model. This way we knew every detail of the machine. Building the project everything went smoothly we each did an equal amount of work so I think splitting up the tasks evenly we did a good job. Overall I think our model turned out great but if we got more time it would of allowed us to make it bigger and better by maybe adding more details and explaining each part and how it works in the process of making electricity.