Nuclear Fuel Cycle

  Nuclear Fuel Cycle

  Fuel Fabrication

Reactor fuel is generally in the form of ceramic pellets. These are formed from pressed uranium oxide (UO2) which is sintered (baked) at a high temperature (over 1400°C) . The pellets are then encased in metal tubes to form fuel rods, which are arranged into a fuel assembly ready for introduction into a reactor

27 tonnes of fresh enriched fuel is required each year by a 1000 MWe reactor

  Power Generation and Burn-up

Several hundred fuel assemblies make up the core of a reactor.

Typically, some 44 million kilowatt-hours of electricity are produced from one tonne of natural uranium. The production of this amount of electrical power from fossil fuels would require the burning of over 20,000 tonnes of black coal or 8.5 million cubic metres of gas.

As with as a coal-fired power station about two thirds of the heat is dumped from nuclear power plant, either to a large volume of water (from the sea or large river, heating it a few degrees) or to a relatively smaller volume of water in cooling towers