Nuclear power

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Nuclear Power: Pros and Cons to Develop in Ecuador

AUTORES: Angélica Astudillo Mateo Coello Juan José Vázquez

Nuclear Power: Pros and Cons to Develop in Ecuador

Nuclear Power: Pros and Cons to Develop in Ecuador 1. Introduction In the world there are currently about 440 nuclear plants generate about 371GWinstalled, representing 16% of the electricity produced in the world, their average age is 23 years. Currently there are some plants that are in projects under development in countries like France, China, Russia and Finland to meet future energy needs and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. However, nuclear technology is a particularly controversial when it comes to their development for energyproduction. There is a great social debate related directly to her character and essential if this technology is to have a specific weight in the future energy mix of Ecuador, Latin America and the world. When talking about nuclear energy, it is impossible not to remember the great accidents in the world, including the Chernobyl disaster, the recent developments in nuclear power plants in Japanamong others, and the tense political relations for nuclear development and enrichment Uranium, these situations do not collaborate in the act of offering an image of this technology without the added danger. But if you take the debate on global warming problem without doubt the technology of electricity generation from nuclear power seem to be the solution because it does not generate environmentalimpact on the emissions of CO2, SO2, NOx and particulates are concerned. But one of the serious problems is the generation of low, medium and high radioactivity nuclear waste and disposal, in addition to the serious problems that occur when a nuclear plant are technological failures, human error or natural disasters. This document will describe in brief outline, the basis of electricity generationfrom nuclear energy, the current development of this technology in Latin America and the prospects that have the Ecuador to develop it, also mention some results of investigations in Ecuador information which was provided by Dr. Manuel Vega, who worked together with the atomic energy commission of Ecuador in these investigations, all this in order to perform an analysis of the pros and cons ofsiting a nuclear plant in Ecuador.


Nuclear Power: Pros and Cons to Develop in Ecuador

2. Theoretical framework 2.1. Principle of Nuclear Power Energy

A nuclear plant uses steam to generate electricity the same as a fossil fuel power plant. The major difference between a fossil fuel power plant and a nuclear power plant is the method to heat the water and produce steam. In the nuclearpower plant takes the place of coal, oil or gas to be the fuel used to heat water and produce steam. Nuclear energy originates from the splitting of uranium atoms in a process called fission. Uranium is the principle element used in nuclear reactors and in certain types of atomic bombs. The performance of most nuclear power plants around the world is based on the fission of enricherd naturaluranium, which has 3% of U235 and 97% of U238. The natural Uranium in mines contains 0,7% of U235. When a stray neutron strikes a 235U nucleus, it is at first absorbed into it. This creates 236U. 236U is unstable and this causes the atom to fission. The fissioning of 236U can produce over twenty different products. However, the products' masses always add up to 236. The following two equations areexamples of the different products that can be produced when 235U fissions: 235U + 1 neutron 235U + 1 neutron 2 neutrons + 92Kr + 142Ba + ENERGY 2 neutrons + 92Sr + 140Xe + ENERGY

Figure1. Nuclear Fission
(, 2011)


Nuclear Power: Pros and Cons to Develop in Ecuador

At the power plant, the energy generated in the fission process is used to generate heat...
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