July 2006
Ecologist;Jul/Aug2006, Vol. 36 Issue 6, p49
The article offers information on the operation and maintenance of nuclear power plants. Nuclear power stations work in the same way as fossil fuel-burning stations, except that a chain reaction inside a nuclear reactor makes the heat instead. Thousands of staffs are employed to run nuclear facilities by refueling the reactor, monitoring its performance and, when required, perform running repairs. Refueling is a major operation that occurs on average every 18 months and requires the reactor to be shut down for about 40 days. During routine operations and refueling 'small' amounts of radioactive isotopes such as hydrogen-3, carbon-14 and plutonium-239 are routinely leaked into the atmosphere in what are known as licensed emissions and controlled releases.


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