Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2022

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Tejas Pandya

Second Advisor

Farhad Farzbod

Third Advisor

Adam Smith

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

There is a high demand of energy for generating civil applicable power in the world and in the USA, correspondingly. The world has been consuming various sources to extract the power to meet its demands. Most of the power sources include renewable and non-renewable sources like fossil fuels, natural gas, coal, water, solar, wind, and nuclear power. Although most of these sources have many advantages in terms of their capacity and cost of production, nuclear power can be categorized as the emerging driving force in the United States and in the world for power generation, because of its reliability and safety. In terms of reliability, nuclear power proves to be above other sources in the amount of CO2 it produces per kWh, and the capacity factor it possesses, which betters most of the other currently active energy sources. Likewise, there are different types of nuclear reactors in use, and each of these types have their own individual features and mechanisms. However, the reputation of nuclear power has never been good and accepted by the globe because of the history it owns. Some of the infamous nuclear disasters like Chernobyl, Fukushima Daichi, and the Three Mile Island stand as a thorn to this developing energy industry. Through the event analysis of these accidents, however, it can be observed that there was certain mechanical as well as operational failures which led these disasters to occur. Understanding what caused these accidents proves vital for the nuclear industry to move forward in the direction of safety. There have been many design changes that has ensured the safety of these nuclear reactors and ensured that disasters like the previously mentioned ones won’t occur again in the present or in the future. Likewise, different international organizations have been implementing strict laws and rules to make the safety application of nuclear power run smoothly. This paper reviews all this information by briefly analyzing the statistics present in the energy world and presents nuclear energy as a reliable and safe source for power generation.

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