Frequently Asked Questions

Which nuclear power plant is the largest (in terms of capacity) on Earth?

The world’s largest nuclear power plant is Kashiwazaki-Kariwa in Japan. It has seven reactors with total capacity of 8200 MW. Zaporizhzhya NPP in Ukraine is the largest NPP in Europe. It has 6 WWER-1000 reactors with total capacity of 6,000 MW.

Can I work at the NPP?

Nuclear power is considered in the world as the most advanced industries in terms of technologies used, the work culture, quality of staff training and development. For instance, Russia currently has the most advanced enriching technologies in the world. To get a job in the nuclear industry, it is necessary to graduate in one of the specialized universities. In Russia, such include the National Research Nuclear University MEPHI, which will open its doors to 50 Turkish students in the 2011-2012 academic year.

Will the construction of NPP affect the environment in our region?

A nuclear power plant is safe and clean from all points of view. The NPP will not endanger the safety of crops and the aquatic environment. There are no chemical emissions or other pollutants from nuclear power plants into the environment and water. For example, Russia hold annual fishing competitions near a NPP, after which the catches are checked by means of a dosimeter and the results allow to make sure that the fish and water are not different from usual reservoirs.
(Impact of NPP on the population and environment)

Can the Fukushima accident occur again?

At nuclear power plants, which are currently being built by Russia both inside the country and abroad, the possibility of recurrence of the accident that occurred at the Fukushima NPP is eliminated. NPPs designed by Russian experts have a multilayer safety system and innovative things - the so-called trap and the passive heat removal system, allowing to cool the reactor during a shutdown of the NPP. It is present in all Russian-designed NPPs, including the AKKUYU NPP. The Fukushima NPP did not have these safety levels.

Why has Germany decided to give up using nuclear energy?

Germany decided to phase out its nuclear power program in 2001. Chancellor Angela Merkel, as the leader of the Christian Democratic Union, before her election in 2005 supported the law on abandoning nuclear energy. Today, after the closure of 7 of the oldest nuclear power plants, Germany now imports electricity from France and the Czech Republic. (78% of energy in France and 34% in Czech Republic is produced at nuclear power plants).

Is a nuclear power plant safe enough?

Modern nuclear power plants are equipped with reliable multilayer safety system. It is similar in structure to the Russian dolls. The first barrier is the very fuel pellet, which contains the uranium. The pellets are located in metallic fuel elements. The next barrier is the reactor vessel. And finally, on the outside is a concrete containment vessel (containment). The containment is designed to withstand all kinds of external influences: earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, dust storms, air shocks, and even falling aircraft.
There is also the control and protection system, which can control the nuclear reaction until its full stoppage. In addition, all plants are equipped with several belts of fences, checkpoints and other physical protection elements.

Where else is nuclear energy used?

Nuclear energy has been successfully used in space equipments, aircraft building, deep-sea machines, and icebreakers. The world uses about 160 different isotopes - atoms of the same chemical element that are similar in their physical and chemical properties, but having a different atomic mass. Enormous amount of researches in a variety of areas of biology and biochemistry have been conducted with the help of isotopes. One of the areas is research on the dynamics and routes of movements of populations in the biosphere and animal units within that population. Radioactive isotopes are widely used in the industry for automation of production processes and their control, in analytical chemistry, in the production of construction materials, for increasing the sensitivity of chemical analysis, for monitoring the leakage of petroleum products, in medicine for diagnosis and treatment of diseases, 
Isotopes are most widely used in chemistry to study the mechanism of chemical reactions, combustion processes, catalysis, synthesis of chemical compounds, and in spectrometry. The mechanisms of development (pathogenesis) of diseases were discovered in medicine with the help of isotopes. Isotopes are also used in medical settings for irradiation, X-ray machines, and gamma radiography.
In agriculture, isotopes are widely used to determine the physical properties of soil and stockpiles of elements of the food plants in it, to study the interaction of soil and fertilizers, processes of assimilation of nutrients from mineral fertilizers by plants, assimilation of mineral nutrients by plants through their leaves and other issues of soil science and agricultural chemistry.

What are the advantages of nuclear energy?

1.    The enormous energy intensity of the fuel used.
2.    Ability to re-use fuel (after regeneration). 
3.    Nuclear energy does not contribute to the creation of “greenhouse effect”. Each year, nuclear power plants in Europe avoid emissions of 700 million tons of CO2, and in Japan - 270 million tons of CO2.
4.    The cost of electricity generated at nuclear power plants is lower than most other types of power plants. 

How does a nuclear power plant operate?

The principle of electricity production at a NPP is similar to that of conventional thermal power plants. Nuclear reactor by means of energy produced during uranium fission heats the primary circuit water, which enters the steam generator, where it exchanges its heat with the secondary circuit water. The secondary circuit steam from the steam generator enters the turbine, which drives the electrical generator. The generator produces electricity, which is supplied by power lines to consumers.

Does nuclear radiation have effects on the population?

Nuclear plants do not pollute the environment. The radiation effect of nuclear power plants on the environment and the population is much smaller compared to power plants operating based on oil, coal and fuel oil, which emit harmful combustion products into the atmosphere. A nuclear power plant is an enterprise of closed technological cycle. This means that all the burning fuel remains inside the nuclear power plant, and is then taken away in very strong containers. Only pure water enters the atmosphere from a nuclear plant. 

What is radiation?

Radiation is the emission of energy in the form of particles or electromagnetic waves. This is a natural phenomenon that has been in existence for billions of years. All living organisms continually experience the effects of natural radiation. Different types of radiation reach the Earth’s surface from space and from radioactive substances located in the Earth’s crust. Potassium located on in the Earth’s crust also contains natural radioactive isotope. Radioactive elements are even always present in the human body tissues, and it is physically impossible to get rid of them. 

What happens in a nuclear reactor?

A nuclear reactor operates through a process called nuclear fission. After loading the fuel in the reactor, the fission process begins, resulting in the formation of fission products - neutrons. Free neutrons react with the nuclei of other uranium atoms and the reaction continues until all the fuel finishes. Therefore, the reaction of nuclear fission of uranium atoms is called a chain reaction.

How is nuclear fuel obtained?

The first step in obtaining nuclear power is mining uranium ore. The ore contains less than 1% pure uranium. Therefore, the ore is processed and transferred to the next step – uranium enrichment to increase the concentration of the core of fissionable uranium-235 from 1% to 4%. Uranium pellets are manufactured from enriched uranium. Finished pellets are placed in a metal tube called fuel elements (FE). And in the form of several tens of fuel elements connected together in fuel assemblies (FA), fuel enters the reactor.

How much energy is released by nuclear fuel?

Of one kilogram of nuclear fuel used in a nuclear power plant, you can get as much energy as is released when burning two railway cars of coal (100,000 kg) or two railway tanks of oil (600,000 kg). So, nuclear power is cheaper and more efficient.

Why is electrical energy needed?

Electrical energy is the most common type of energy. Everyone needs electricity. No modern appliance can function without electricity. Energy generated at nuclear power plants is what lights our homes, and powers our televisions, computers, air conditioners and other appliances.
How much energy is released by nuclear fuel?
Of one kilogram of nuclear fuel used in a nuclear power plant, you can get as much energy as is released when burning two railway cars of coal (100,000 kg) or two railway tanks of oil (600,000 kg). So, nuclear power is cheaper and more efficient.