How NEK works
How the nuclear power plant works?
NEK functions in a similar way to a conventional thermal power plant, except that heat is not produced by burning fossil fuels. Instead, it makes use of the heat released during the fission of uranium nuclei in a reactor. The reactor consists of a reactor vessel with fuel assemblies which form the core. Ordinary purified water and chemically treated water circulate through the reactor under pressure and carry the released heat into the steam generators, where it is turned into steam. The steam drives a turbine which in turn drives the electrical generator. All the equipment of the reactor and the primary coolant loop is housed in the reactor building, which in view of its function is also known as the containment.
The reactor vessel containing the fuel assemblies is sealed during operation. The primary coolant circulates through the reactor vessel. For scheduled refuelling, the power plant needs to be shut down. The period between two refuellings is known as the fuel cycle. At NEK, the fuel cycle lasts 18 months. At the end of every fuel cycle, the spent fuel elements are replaced with fresh ones.
The technical part of a nuclear power plant is divided into three basic thermodynamic sets of systems:
Since water circulates in all three sets of systems, which are separated from each other, we can also refer to them as loops. The first two systems are sealed while the third, which uses water from the Sava River to condense the steam, is connected to the outside environment.