The television and radio programmes associated with this week's course unit should be regarded as additional material. The course unit confines itself to atomic and molecular forces; the broadcast ...material focuses down on the short range forces within the nucleus of an atom. The most spectacular evidence of this is nuclear energy. The television programme starts by explaining the principles of nuclear fission using animated diagrams. The use of materials to slow down and absorb neutrons is demonstrated and essential components of a nuolear reactor are built up on a diagram illustrated with film. Finally, a representative of the electricity board discusses some economic and technological aspects of nuclear reactors which provide the heat source of nuclear power stations.
|Module code and title:
|T100, The man-made world: a foundation course
|First transmission date:
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|Geoffrey Holister; Charles Newey
|BBC Open University
|Animated diagrams; Economic & technological aspects; Electricity board; Heat source; Nuclear energy; Nuclear fission; Nuclear power stations; Nuclear reactor; Nucleus of an atom; Short range forces
|Shot of a nuclear fission blast as an example of uncontrolled nuclear fission. Shot of a nuclear-power plant as an example of controlled nuclear fission. Holister with a piece of pitchblend. He places it near a radiation counter and notes the reaction. Holister explains how a chain reaction occurs. He uses an animated diagram to aid. The need for a moderator in reactors is explained and demonstrated with the aid of an animated diagram. A fast neutron source is placed near a slow neutron counter. The neutrons register only when slowed by a moderator (in this demonstration a can of paraffin is placed between neutron source and counter). Shots of a model, showing the results of collisions between neutrons and: 1. a carbon molecule; 2. a hydrogen molecule. Shots of samples of several elements used as moderators between the fast neutron source and the slow neutron reactor. Water, aluminium, lead, and cadmium are used. Their effect is shown on a radiation counter. Shot of a cloud chamber photograph showing a fission event. Shots of an animated model of" an atom showing the results of a collision with a neutron. Fission occurs and a chain reaction takes place. Concept of critical mass is introduced. The need for critical mass to support a chain reaction is explained. An animated diagram shows sub-critical, just critical and super critical mass. Holister sums up the programme so far, then introduces sequence on designing a graphite moderated Magnox reactor. Diagram of a fuel rod and its metal casing. The properties of the case and its need are discussed. Holister shown with a cut-away model of a fuel element and case. Diagram of reator fuel elements with moderators in place. Shots of moderator blocks being assembled. The assembly technique is explained. A diagram showing fuel elements, moderators and boron control rods is used to explain the use of control rods. (To keep a super critical mass under control). Shots of a control rod in the reactor and of the motor which raises and lowers it. Shot of a reactor control room. Diagram of the heat transfer system of the Magnox reactor system, C02 is the cooling agent used. Shots of the reactor pressure vessel and heat exchanger. The heat transfer system is explained. Diagram of the concrete biological shield. Need for the shield is discussed briefly. To sum up, the 7 items needed to operate a Magnox reactor are captioned. Replacement of used up fuel elements operation is explained. Shots of the operation in progress. Disposal of wastes from fuel elements is shown and explained. Removal of usable Uranium and Plutonium shown and explained. Storage of wastes in underground containers shown. Newey introduces David Silverleaf of the CEGB who will discuss changes and developments in controlled nuclear-fission. Silverleaf with a diagram and models of parts of the Magnox reactor, discusses some of the improvements made on this type. He explains how the improvements were made and goes on to discuss the advanced gas cooled reactor. Holister sums up by discussing the future of controlled nuclear fission.
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