Nuclear Power Plant Definition and Meaning
Central is what belongs to or relative to the center. This term has several meanings: it can refer to the space where coordinated actions converge; to the interior point equidistant from the limits of a surface; to the region that concentrates the busiest streets of a population; to the institute that conducts research; to the basic or essential of something; and to the facilities where electrical energy is produced.
Nuclear, on the other hand, is what belongs to or related to the nucleus or nuclear energy (produced by atomic reactions of fusion or fission). If we broaden the concept of nuclear energy, we can say that it is the energy released, either spontaneously or artificially, during nuclear reactions.
According to abbreviationfinder, a nuclear power plant or nuclear plant, therefore, is the industrial facility that allows generating electrical energy from nuclear energy. Its operation usually comes from fissile material that, through nuclear reactions, acts as fuel and provides heat for the movement of alternators that convert mechanical work into electrical energy.
The nuclear reactor has a container with radioactive insulation material, which is filled with fissile material. The energy process involves generating a sustained and controlled reaction from auxiliary elements called moderators, which absorb the excess of neutrons released. Around the core of the nuclear reactor is a reflector that returns part of the neutrons released during the reaction to the core.
A special shield around the reactor and a cooling circuit complete the main facilities of a nuclear power plant.
The location of a nuclear power plant cannot be chosen at random, but it is necessary to consider a large number of variables, since high risk processes for living beings are carried out in its facilities. However, there are several examples of plants in unsuitable areas, or that do not have the necessary infrastructure to face potential emergencies. Let’s see some cases below:
Metsamor nuclear power plant
It is the only one in Armenia; an envoy from the European Union classified it in 2004 as a danger to the entire region, while trying to reach an agreement to close it, something that was not successful. This nuclear power plant was built in 1976 in a region of high seismic risk by the USSR and provides around 40% of the energy needed to supply the more than 3 million residents of Armenia, for whom its facilities are a national pride and a progress symbol.
This Japanese power plant represents the greatest nuclear risk on the planet today. After the earthquake and tsunami that took place on March 11, 2011, which left its facilities in ruins, there have been many leaks of radioactive particles in the sea and in the subsoil of its surroundings. The seriousness of the situation reached such a point that the government considered the possibility of evacuating the 36 million residents of the Tokyo metropolitan area, despite being 250 kilometers away from the plant.
According to the North American Nuclear Energy Regulatory Commission, this nuclear power plant has reached the point where immediate attention is required in order to assure the population that it is not exposed to any risk that is impossible to face. Said declaration took place shortly after an explosion of a transformer inside the plant, which paralyzed its reactors. If an earthquake struck your area, Indian Point is believed to be highly vulnerable. In this case, it is not about the location itself, but about the poor infrastructure to withstand the force of an earthquake.