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Nuclear power plant

Thermal power station where the heat source is a nuclear reactor / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A nuclear power plant (NPP)[1] is a thermal power station in which the heat source is a nuclear reactor. As is typical of thermal power stations, heat is used to generate steam that drives a steam turbine connected to a generator that produces electricity. As of 2022, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported there were 422 nuclear power reactors in operation in 32 countries around the world, and 57 nuclear power reactors under construction.[2][3]

Flanked by cooling towers, a PWR nuclear reactor is contained inside a spherical containment building

Nuclear plants are very often used for base load since their operations, maintenance, and fuel costs are at the lower end of the spectrum of costs.[4] However, building a nuclear power plant often spans five to ten years, which can accrue to significant financial costs, depending on how the initial investments are financed.[5]

Nuclear power plants have a carbon footprint comparable to that of renewable energy such as solar farms and wind farms,[6][7] and much lower than fossil fuels such as natural gas and brown coal. Despite some spectacular catastrophes, nuclear power plants are among the safest mode of electricity generation,[8] comparable to solar and wind power plants.[9]