Nuclear reactor

With the rise in the price of energy I want to talk about something of which I am not an expert but that is making me very funny: alternative energies.

And from the alternative energies I’m going to focus on one, nuclear power.

If you enter the newspapers and see the comments about why, in Spain, the price of light is rising so much, you will find enough people asking for the creation of nuclear power stations, accusing, politically, the rest in an uncontrolled and ignorant way.

I am not going to enter into the political reasons since, these writings are more of science than of politics although I leave the ramalazo some time again.

Am I agreeing to set up more nuclear power plants? Yes, but not now.

Let’s see the reason of my personal reasoning. Let’s start with what most comments in the media complain about, money.

Usually people let go of bar bar ideas when they touch theirs and there is nothing more theirs than money. But in this, as in everything else, there is more than one sub-reasoning that could be taken into account in order to mainly know if the matter is profitable. And here I repeat that I am not an expert.

Is nuclear energy cheaper? Well, apart from the cost of setting up a plant, plus the maintenance cost in its useful life (which, in principle, is not intended to be extended), together with the cost of buying the reactor (no, in Spain we made non-reactor vessels and Now or even that) we must add the price of fuel and the efficiency of this.

Particularly I do not know the efficiency of a nuclear reactor and even less of the existing ones, although if I remember correctly, around 35%. Because, colleagues, there are versions of nuclear reactors being, the latter a type 4 and being in the study type 5.

To know the efficiency of a nuclear reactor is good to know how it is mounted or how it works. And it is that a nuclear reactor is nothing more than a lifelong vapor (steam) machine where the bars of radioactive material, thanks to their disintegration, heat water that passes through different tubes and systems (thing Of thermodynamics, to increase their efficiency) and they end up making rotating blades in a generator that, by simple electromagnetism, creates electricity. Even if you do not believe it, many generators work in a similar way, such as solar power plants (those that have many mirrors that point to a single site) or hydroelectric plants, to give two examples. The case is to change kinetic energy, by electromagnetic energy, with everything that is lost in each step. Therefore, very efficient are not, like many other types of energy procurement. This is the type of basic model existing modifications (which are in the PDF that I link) of the different reactors (to which must be added versions). Some are very curious.

Then there is the fundamental problem of waste. And is that according to the fuel that is put to the reactor in the nucleus, when it disintegrates it generates a waste. In each reactor version this problem has been greatly improved, usually being the next version fed by the waste from the previous generation. This is obviated by ignorance.

Waste, because of the above, are becoming less energetic and less likely to produce that which people are so afraid (and rightly so) of the radiation. You have to know that type 5 reactors (the most advanced ones for now) produce non-radioactive waste since they can be stacked in any corner.

By the way, I do not know if I have told you that the existing nuclear reactors are fission, that is, that divide the nucleus … I imagine that with the radioactive decay you have taken yourselves. The fusion reactors are still experimental and in this subject I do not want to enter although it is very fun.

So, all of the above counted only for the terms of efficiency in question of how much you get by what you’ve gotten. As you see it is more complicated than what many in bar bar and comments think and, certainly, much more expensive to amortize (in time) than they expect the light to fall.

Now I want to comment on the issue of security. They’re safe?. Well, this point, like the previous one, depends on many factors, including the reactor type itself since each of them has its problems. Although all have the problem of a rupture of the nucleus with the consequent radioactivity (the worst of all), there are many auxiliary problems that many who have it next to it can put the hairs like escarpias. Example that the cooling valves (Fukusima?) Are broken, that there is a drought and it is not possible to reincorporate the new water cycle, that the gases (water vapor) do not come out … all the problems of a nuclear power plant are Related to the temperature and the cooling of the same and any system that can fail is critical, mainly because the “stop” it means to cool the fuel rods and is very expensive … except for the type 5, that turns off only due To the low radioactivity of its fuel.

If the fuel is radioactive, the waste is radioactive, the type 5 is not. As debris is lower than fuel (radioactively) its problem (radioactivity) lasts longer than if we left the fuel outdoors (in time, not in problem itself). Hence the waste takes “million years” to degrade (except those of type 5, I know I’m very heavy but this is important).

Therefore, a well-made nuclear power plant with its controls is safe and more and more. That is to know that, from now on and with all kinds of energy, the more you will need and obtain, the danger of being out of control or there is a problem is greater (energetically speaking). Come, the danger of a method of obtaining energy is directly proportional to the energy we get from it.

And for that, my “yes, but not now”. He does not come now because he is the world (and in particular my country, Spain). Where, to mount the nuclear power plant would create an ad hoc company “pelotazo S.A.” Which would subcontract each element of the reactor to a third with some incredible costs and where subcontractors, as such when working to slaughter with low cost security and quality would care a shit stuck in a stick. Or bell, the great company “megaconstructions I make of all constructions S.L.” To maximize the profit would do exactly the same as “pelotazo S.A.”, hiring this company that in turn would subcontract to others. All these companies, in the contest, would pull down causing society to think that the megawatio comes out for nothing when, in the end and as a result, the price is exponentially increased and security and controls decrease exponentially.

So, to finish, if we will improve the spending on science and study more we would have not only safer but also much less polluting power plants reaching the point where, putting in the balance all the advantages and problems the rocker will finish more in the Zone of advantages that in the one of problems.

2 Comments

Comment