2.3. Nuclear Power Plant
Fig. 6 shows schematically a nuclear power plant.
The main components of a nuclear power plant are:
1. Nuclear reactor
2. Heat exchanger (steam generator)
3. Steam turbine
Fig. 6. Nuclear power plant.
In a nuclear power plant the reactor performs the same function as that of the furnace of steam power plant (i.e., produces heat). The heat liberated in the reactor as a result of the nuclear fission of the fuel is taken up by the coolant circulating through the reactor core. Hot coolant leaves the reactor at the top and then flows through the tubes of steam generator and passes on its heat to the feed water. The steam so produced expands in the steam turbine, producing work, and thereafter is condensed in the condenser. The steam turbine in turn runs an electric generator thereby producing electrical energy. In order to maintain the flow of coolant, condensate and feed water pumps are provided as shown in Fig. 6.