Nuclear Energy

Energy indisputably a resource on which humanity has been dependent. Without energy, we cannot find or administer medicine to cure disease, prepare food, purify water, drive our cars etc. the current energy need is 15TW and this number is projected to now a days we are more reliable on fossil fuel. Fossil fuels are also a large source pollution and also a non-renewable source of energy.

Nuclear power means the use of nuclear reactions that release nuclear power to generate heat, the most commonly used for the production of electricity in a nuclear power plant by steam turbines. Nuclear fission, nuclear decay and nuclear fusion reactions can provide nuclear energy. Currently, nuclear fission of uranium and plutonium is the source of the overwhelming majority of nuclear power. In niche applications such as radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators, nuclear decay processes are used. International research continues to focus on the generation of electricity from fusion power. This article focuses mainly on nuclear power fission for generation of electricity.

Civil power supplied 2,563 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2018 with electricity, corresponding to approximately 10% of world power generation, and was the second largest low-carbon hydropower source. As of December 2019, there are 443 civilian fission reactors in the world, with a combined electrical capacity of 395 gigawatt (GW). 56 nuclear reactors and 109 reactors are also under construction with a total capacity of 60 GW and 120 GW respectively. The United States is the largest nuclear reactor fleet with an annual average capacity factor of more than 800 TWh of zero emissions.

Compare to other energy sources, nuclear power has one of the lowest mortality levels per unit of generated energy. Coal, oil, gas and hydropower have caused fatalities in each unit of energy, each of which is caused by air pollution and accidents. Nuclear energy has prevented approximately 1,84 million deaths from air pollution and an output of approximately 64 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equal that would otherwise have arisen from combustion of fossil fuels since its commercializations in the 1970s.

After coal , gas, hydroelectricity and wind power, nuclear power is India’s fifth largest power source. India operates 22 nuclear reactors in 7 nuclear power stations as of March 2018. The total installed capacity of this reactor is 6,780 MW. A total of 35 TWh of nuclear power was produced, and 3.22 percent of Indian power was supplied by 2017. 7 additional reactors with a combined power output of 4 300 MW are under construction.

India developed a nuclear energy capacity plan of 63 GW in 2032 in October 2010. However, numerous anti-nuclear protests have occurred at the proposed nuclear power plants since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Mass protests were carried out against the Maharashtra Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project and the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu, and the West Bengal Government refused permission for the proposed major nuclear plant near Haripur. The Supreme Court has also brought a Public Interest Litigation ( PIL) against the government’s nuclear programme.

There have been generally low capacity factors associated with nuclear power in India. As of 2017, India ‘s fleet has 63,5 percent weighted lifetime energy availability factor. In recent years, however, capabilities have improved. The Indian reactor availability factor in 2015-2017 was 69.4%. The lack of nuclear fuel is one of the main reasons for the low capacity.

In India progresses with regard to thorium-based fuels, a prototype for a nuclear reactor with the use of thorium and low-enriched uranium, a major part of India’s nuclear three-stage programme, is being designed and developed. In addition to supporting work undertaken by the ITER initiative in the area of fusion power, the country recently reinitiated its involvement in LENR research.

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