This is a plant:
No, not this one.
Most power plants make electricity by heating water and creating steam. Nuclear power plants get heat from splitting atoms. This is how it all goes down:
The rad nuclear process:
- Nuclear fuel, typically in the form of ✨uranium pellets✨, is placed into the reactor’s core (where all the craziness happens).
- Fun fact: one uranium pellet is roughly the size of a gummy bear.
- The reactor releases neutrons (neutrons are very sassy btw), and they smash into uranium atoms. This causes the atoms to become unstable and split into two (a process called nuclear fission).
- This releases a large amount of energy and even more sassy neutrons, which smash into more uranium atoms…over and over and over again. This process is called a chain reaction.
- The energy is released in the form of heat, and it’s used to heat water and create steam.
- The steam spins a turbine that is connected to a generator, which turns the mechanical energy of the turbine into electrical energy (got a little boring here, I know).
- The electrical energy is then pushed through power lines to light up homes and enable your Netflix binging habits.
- And there you have it: emissions-free electricity!
So you’re saying nuclear is actually really cool?
Yes! Nuclear plants are safe, reliable and carbon-free. So let’s not forget about this amazing power source when it comes to solving climate change.
Check out my video to get the full picture.