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Submitted by marssa2 on Fri, 2013-01-04 00:40
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how is a nuclear reactor similar to a conventional fossil-fuel power plant? how is it different?

how is a nuclear reactor similar to a conventional fossil-fuel power plant? how is it different?

Answer
Submitted by compSci on Fri, 2013-01-04 02:57
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Types of energy

The primary differences are:

 

The type of fuel, conventional fossil fuel plants utilize fossil fuels which are burnt releasing energy which is captured often by turbines. Nuclear reactors capture the energy of radioactive material by a similar system of heating water however the fuel itself is different. Energy is collected as water is passed through the reactor core and heated up, then it goes to a turbine and generates electricity. Pretty much the same way as the fossile fuel plant would.

 

conventional fossil-fuel power plants require oxygen, and release C02, and other biproducts into the air. They use combustion to release stored kinetic energy. 

 

So, both have bi-products and waste. Fossil fuels are often blamed for global warming. 

 

Fossil fuels contain far less energy for their size than nuclear energy does so a small pinch of radioactive material would power the same amount that a mountain of coal might. 

 

"A fossil fuel power station burns coal, natural gas, oil or some other fossil fuel to generate electricity. 



A nuclear power station uses nuclear fission (splitting the atom) to generate heat which it converts to electricity."

 

They both utilize a resource, poison the planet, and produce electricity