The technology is complex, but the basic premise is simple: make steam to turn a turbine that spins a generator to make electricity. The Susquehanna plant uses the energy released by splitting atoms to make steam.

The Susquehanna plant uses the energy of nuclear fission to make steam. The heat produced when uranium atoms are split causes water in the reactor to boil.

 

Steam produced in the reactor passes through turbines. Each turbine has rings of fan-like metal blades. As steam passes over the blades, the turbines turn very fast.

The turbines are connected to a generator, where an electromagnet spins inside a ring of copper wire to produce electricity.

When the steam has done its work, it is cooled, turning back into water that is pumped back into the reactor to begin the cycle all over again.

 

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Nuclear fission

Fission is the splitting of atoms into smaller parts. This process gives off energy in the form of heat.

Control rod

These rods are inserted between the fuel assemblies to control or stop the nuclear reaction.

Nuclear plant

Nuclear plants make steam to turn a turbine that spins a generator to make electricity.