Use of Nuclear with Renewables

An additional reduction might be achievable by combining a nuclear generating station with wind and solar. Nuclear power plants are considered base load generators. This means that they are designed and run to provide the minimum amount of electrical power that a utility must provide to its customers throughout the day. Other electrical generation technologies are used to address the peaks in electrical power usage that occur throughout the day as the electrical demand varies. This does not mean that nuclear power units cannot do what is referred to as load following, (which means that it can adjust its power output as demand for electricity fluctuates throughout the day). For example, the French developed advanced reactor called the EPR can be operated efficiently from 50% to 100% power (G. Vanderheydan, 2009, private communication). Thus, reactors could be combined with wind turbines or solar generating technologies so that when wind and sunlight conditions are favorable, the electrical load would be met by a combination of wind, solar, and nuclear. When the wind or the sunshine is not sufficient, then the reactor's power could be increased to meet the electrical demand.

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Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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