Where nuclear power is used to generate electricity in Europe?



An important world record in the field of nuclear science is held by Britain, where the world’s first atomic power station was built in 1956 at Calder Hall.



Since then, the generation of electric power by atomic or nuclear reactors has become increasingly important in Europe, where over 10 percent of total generating capacity is now nuclear. This is a higher proportion than in any other continent.



The leading European nuclear country in terms of nuclear power stations is France, which generates about a third of its electricity from nuclear fuels. Then come Germany, Britain, Sweden, Finland, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, Bulgaria, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and The Netherlands.



British nuclear power stations use a variety of different kinds of reactors, including an experimental fast breeder reactor at Dounreay. This is a kind of reactor that produces more fuel than it consumes and it could in theory generate immense amounts of power in the future.



However the technological problems involved have proved extremely difficult to solve and it is now doubtful whether the fast breeder will ever fulfil its early promise. Although nuclear power stations have to date worked well and safely throughout Europe, there is a mounting problem of radioactive waste disposal.                                                                                                                                                                                                          



 



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Are Electricity and Electronics different?


Electricity in a wire creates the pushes and pulls that get work done. It lights lamps and runs machines. But electricity has another important use. It can carry information. Thanks to electricity’s ability to carry information, we have tiny radios, handheld calculators and video games, and personal computers.



The use of electricity to carry electric signals is called electronics. These electric signals may stand for sounds, pictures, numbers, letters, computer instructions, or other sorts of information.



An electronic device has many tiny electrical pathways called circuits. Each circuit has a special job. Some circuits store signals. Others change signals. For example, in an electronic calculator, one circuit might add two numbers together. When the answer is reached, another circuit sends a signal that light up a display screen to show the answer.



The circuits in most of today’s electronic devices are mounted on a chip, a piece of material that is no bigger than a fingernail.



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What is Electromagnet?


Electricity can make light and heat. It can also make a magnet. But this is a magnet you can turn on and off.



A magnet made with electricity is called an electromagnet. An electromagnet has two parts. The first part is a solid centre, or core, made of iron. The second part is an outer covering made of wire that is coiled many times around and around the solid iron core.



When an electric current runs through the wound wire, the iron becomes a magnet. The iron gets its pull, or magnetism, from the moving electrons in the wire. As soon as the electric current is turned off, an electromagnet loses its magnetism.



Electromagnets are used to make electric motors run. A motor has two sets of these magnets - an outer set that stays in place and an inner set that moves. The inner set of electromagnets is attached to an axle - a rod that can spin. When the motor is turned on, the two sets of electromagnets push and pull against each other. That push makes the inner magnets move and spin the axle. And the spinning axle gives a push that makes the motor run.



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How can we store Electricity?


A torch runs on electricity, but you don’t have to plug it in. It carries its own electric current in a “package” - a battery.



A battery is made of layers of chemicals inside a metal container. When the torch is turned on, some of the chemicals in the battery break apart and eat away at the metal container. As this happens, some of the metal atoms leave the container and combine with the chemicals inside the battery.



As the metal atoms move away from the container, they leave some of their electrons behind. So the container gains electrons. And as the chemicals inside the battery break apart, they lose electrons.



Soon, there are more electrons in the container than there are inside the battery. Then the extra electrons in the container begin to move out of the battery. They travel through the bulb and back into the middle of the battery, where electrons are scarce. The push of these electrons is the current that makes your torch shine.



It may sound as if everything happens very slowly, but, as you know, it all takes place in an instant.



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What is the function of Switch in a circuit?


You want your electric clock to run day and night. But you wouldn’t want your doorbell ringing all the time. Things like doorbells, lamps, and radios work only when you turn them on.



Most things that run by electricity have a switch. A switch is used to turn the electric current on and off. The electric current moves along the wire and across the switch to another wire inside the bell, lamp, or radio. The switch is a “bridge” in the path the electricity follows.



A metal piece inside the switch moves when you turn the switch on and off. When you turn the switch on, the metal piece touches both wires. The “bridge” is down. The electricity coming into the switch can cross the “bridge” and keep travelling along the pathway.



When you turn the switch off, the metal piece moves away from the wire. The “bridge” is up. Without the “bridge,” the electric current can’t cross the switch and follow the path. So, the electric current stops moving, and things stop working until you lower the “bridge” in the pathway by turning the switch on again.




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