I can't seem to find the homework help thread, so yeah.. sorry.
I have to write a 5 page essay on Van de Graaff Generators or however you spell it. I was wondering if any of you guys know anything about these; I'm not asking for you guys to do my homework for me, I just want to know anything you guys know about power grids so it could make my writing easier.
Anything about the generator is fine, history whatever, and i think you could double space so it's like really 2 and half pages. He gave us a list of topics we could do, which do you think would be easier to do?
Pre-assembled motors, Magnetic recording, Hard drives, Jacobs Ladder, Van De Graaff Generator, Tesla Coil, Solar cells, Power Plant, Aurora, Ionic Breeze, City Power Grid, Lightning, Where does San Jose get its power?, National Power Grid, Cathode Ray Tube (Television), Arc Lamp
takes rods of enriched uranium rods (natural uranium is found in a rock ore called "yellow cake" with other elements, so they have to melt liquefy and "filter" the uranium isotopes out)
and only isotopes, which are unstable, can be used in the energy decay.
so they bombard the rods with neutrons or other high energy particles, which causes fission.. splitting the uranium atom into two atoms of different atomic numbers (essentially different elements) and mass numbers and then neutrons also split.
but carefully controlling it, the newly formed neutrons can hit other uranium atoms and set off a chain reaction. with such a large amount of energy formed, they control this and use it to vaporize water into superheated steam. outside the containing vessel, there is another pipe of water which is simultaneously heated (it's in a separate tubing to prevent radiation leakage) and then vaporized, and it rises up and then condenses into water at a higher level, then it falls down a waterfall of sorts and spins turbines (essentially a hydroelectric dam) which generates the energy.
the condensed water then flows back into the water source (usually a river nearby the power plant)
the spent fuel rods become radioactive, but not enough to be used for energy and that is essentially the radioactive waste that must be stored safely for years as its radioactivity runs out.
and if not properly controlled, the water that returns to the river is overheated by a few degrees, which causes thermonuclear pollution, as increased temperatures may affect plant and animal life.
okay that is the basic gist of a fission reactor. don't worry about thermonuclear (fusion) reactions. far too complex for a high school paper.
so outline (don't have to follow this religiously, just an idea)
1P- Introduce nuclear power. say how it can produce energy for everyday use. it has its pros and cons and you plan to investigate it. standard introduction stuff. maybe a few stats about how useful it is and how bad it is
2P- write about the basics of how it works as I have casually written about. make it more formal though and use another source like a book or online article.
3P- Write about how its power output compares with that of other sources (solar, wind, water, etc...)
4P- Write about possible dangers such as core meltdowns, the danger of radioactive waste, terrorism, possilble Chernobyls (an explosion in the old Soviet Union that released radiation) and how these things can be dealt with.
5P- give your thoughts on the future of radioactive energy