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What is the principle behind nuclear reactors?

Nuclear reactors generate electricity by harnessing the energy released from nuclear fission reactions.

Nuclear reactors work by using a controlled nuclear fission chain reaction to produce heat, which is then used to generate electricity. The reactor core contains fuel rods made of enriched uranium, which undergo fission when struck by a neutron. This releases energy in the form of heat, which is transferred to a coolant, typically water, that flows through the reactor core.

The heated coolant then passes through a heat exchanger, where it heats a secondary coolant, which is used to produce steam. The steam drives a turbine, which in turn drives a generator to produce electricity. The secondary coolant is then cooled and returned to the heat exchanger to repeat the process.

The reactor is controlled by inserting or removing control rods made of materials such as boron or cadmium, which absorb neutrons and can slow down or stop the chain reaction. The reactor is also designed with safety features, such as emergency cooling systems, to prevent overheating and potential meltdowns.

Nuclear reactors provide a reliable source of low-carbon electricity, but also pose potential risks, such as the release of radioactive materials in the event of an accident. As such, their use requires careful regulation and safety measures.

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