How is electricity produced from nuclear energy?

Answer:    A nuclear power plant is based on fission of uranium/plutonium fuel. The fuel is placed in a fuel assembly in what is called the reactor core. The fuel has a very high power density and under the fission chain reaction and produces heat which is transformed into steam at high temperature and under high pressure. The steam drives a turbine and an alternator which produces electricity. The steam is then cooled down and the condensed water is then recycled in the reactor vessel. The fission chain reaction is controlled via control rods. The electricity produced is delivered to the distribution grid.

 

Background

A nuclear power plant is based on fission of uranium/plutonium fuel. The fuel is placed in a fuel assembly in what is called the reactor core. The fuel has a very high power density and under the fission chain reaction and produces heat which is transformed into steam at high temperature and under high pressure. The steam drives a turbine and an alternator which produces electricity. The steam is then cooled down and the condensed water is then recycled in the reactor vessel. The fission chain reaction is controlled via control rods. The electricity produced is delivered to the distribution grid. Based on these simple principles different types of reactors have been designed using different fuel elements and different coolants. The most constructed one in the world is the Light Water Reactor (pressurized water reactor or boiling water reactor). Other designs include Candu Heavy Water reactors based on natural uranium use, Sodium cooled Fast reactors, High Temperature reactors, Gas Cooled reactors (AGR), Light Water Cooled Graphite reactors (RBMK).  Ranges of energy production and size of the reactors go from < 200 MWe to 1600 MWe.