In this problem, we're going get a rough estimate the amount of uranium fuel it would take if the US recieved all its electrical power from nuclear power plants.(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

The size of a power plant in normally given as the about of electrical power it can produce when running a full capacity. This electrical power produced can be very different than the mechanical or thermal power that was required to produce this electricity. For example, power plant might have a "thermal efficiency" of 25% and so require 100 MWt (mega-watts of thermal power) to produce 25MWe (megawatts of electrical power). The efficiency will vary from plant to plant but an approximate range is from around 2% to 35%.

Lets assume we have a 1000 MWe electrical power plant that recieves its thermal energy from pressured water nuclear reactor (PWR) and has overall thermal efficiency of 30%.

a) What is the total thermal power generated by the reactor?

Answer: 3333.33 MW

b) Lets assume that all fission events are https://wug-s.physics.uiuc.edu/cgi/courses/shell/common/showme.pl?cc/DuPage/Phys1202/summer/homework/Ch-32-Nuclear-Physics/fuel_amount_algebra/fission_equation.jpg [Broken]

What is the rate of fission events in the reactor core?

2. Relevant equations

E=mc2

P=E/t

m=mf-mi

3. The attempt at a solution

mf=235.0439u + 1.00867u

mf= 236.05259u

mi=143.92294u + 91.9261528u + 2(1.00867u)

mi=237.8664328u

m=mf-mi

m=237.8664428u - 236.05259u

m=1.8138428u

E=mc2

E=(1.8138428u)*((931.5Mev/c2)/u)*c2

E=1689.5945 Mev

1689.5945 Mev * 1.602E-19 J/ev = 2.707031447E-16 MJ

P=E/t

3333.33 MW = 2.707031447E-16 MJ / t

t = 8.120199E-20 s

Am I approaching the propblem correctly?

**Physics Forums | Science Articles, Homework Help, Discussion**

Dismiss Notice

Join Physics Forums Today!

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

# Homework Help: Reactor Fuel and Waste

**Physics Forums | Science Articles, Homework Help, Discussion**