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Nuclear Reactors Using a nuclear reactor is an efficient way to produce large amounts of electricity Nuclear reactors are used to provide power to a neighboring town or city In a nuclear reactor water is heated using nuclear energy to the point that it boils and the steam collects around a collection of spinning blades called a steam turbine The pressure from the steam turns these blades which are connected to a dynamo or generator The generator is activated and produces electricity which is sent to electrical power lines and distributed throughout the community The heat needed to create the large amounts of steam is created in the reactors core In the core are fuel rods made of stainless steel These fuel rods contain pellets of U-235 There are also moderators made of carbon or heavy water H20 and deuterium which are used to slow down the flow of electrons to the fuel rods If the electrons are moving slow enough the neutron reaches the fuel rods containing the U-235 pellets and fission occurs Fission takes place when an atoms nucleus splits and causes a nuclear reaction When a free neutron splits a nucleus energy is released along with other free neutrons A free neutron from the nucleus that just split splits another nucleus and so on and so on This process is called a chain reaction The fission process is used to create heat which boils water inside the nuclear reactor Fission happens while being carefully monitored by a plant manager If the reaction is getting out of control ten control rods are used to slow it down Control rods are made of boron or cadmium stainless steel and easily absorb neutrons disabling them from heightening the reaction The insertion and excerption of the control rods into the core is controlled by the control rod drive mechanism The entire core is submerged in coolant a heat absorber so that it wont overheat
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