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小课堂:核能小知识

  [2011-03-14 12:41:39] 
Nuclear power

核能

The world's first large-scale nuclear power plant opened at Calder Hall in Cumbria, England, in 1956 and produced electricity for 47 years.

全世界首个大型核电站在 1956 年建于英格兰坎布里亚郡的考尔德大楼,持续提供了 47 年的电力。

Nuclear power is generated using uranium, a metal that is mined as an ore in large quantities, with Canada, Australia and Kazakhstan providing more than half of the world's supplies.

核能是通过铀这种大量开采的矿石金属天生的。加拿大、澳大利亚和哈萨克斯坦占据了全球超过半数的供给量。

Nuclear reactors work in a similar way to other power plants, but instead of using coal or gas to generate heat, they use nuclear fission reactions. In most cases, heat from the nuclear reactions convert water into steam, which drives turbines that produce electricity.

核反应堆的工作原理和其他的发电站很相似,不过它们并不是使用煤炭或煤气来天生热量,而是利用核裂变反应。大部分情况下,核反应产生的热量会将水转变为蒸汽,继而驱动涡轮机发电。

There are different kinds, or isotopes, of uranium, and the type used in nuclear power plants is called uranium-235, because these atoms are easiest to split in two. Because uranium-235 is quite rare, *** up less than 1% of natural uranium, it has to be enriched until the fuel contains 2-3%.

铀有很多不同的种类,或称同位素,而在核电站中所使用的是铀 235 这一类,由于这些的原子最轻易一分为二。由于铀 235 很稀有,只占自然铀中的不足 1%,所以必须进步浓度,让燃料中有 2~3% 的含量。

Inside a nuclear reactor, rods of uranium are arranged in bundles and immersed in a giant, pressurised water tank. When the reactor is running, high-speed particles called neutrons strike the uranium atoms and cause them to split in a process known as nuclear fission. The process releases a lot of energy and more neutrons, which go on to split other uranium atoms, triggering a chain reaction. The energy heats up the water, which is piped out to a steam generator.

在核反应堆中,铀棒排列成束,浸进一个巨大的耐压水箱中。当反映开始后时,被称为中子的高速粒子会撞击铀原子,导致它们一分为二,这一过程称为核裂变。这一过程开释出大量能量和更多的中子,于是继续将别的铀原子一分为二,引发连锁反应。这股能量将水加热,然后通过管子输送到蒸汽发生器中。

To make sure the power plant does not overheat, control rods made of a material that absorbs neutrons are lowered into the reactor. The whole reactor is encased in a thick concrete shield, which prevents radiation escaping into the environment.

为了确保发电站不会过热,人们将使用吸收中子的材料制作的控制棒放进反应堆下面。整个反应都包裹在一层厚厚的混凝土防护层里面,避免辐射泄漏到外界环境中。

In Britain, nuclear power stat 零分作文ions provide 19% of our electricity and account for 3.5% of our total energy use. All but one of those reactors are due to close down by 2023.

在英国,核电站提供了 19% 的电力,占总能源使用的 3.5%。所有的反应堆除了一个以外其他的都计划在 2023 年之前封闭。

Some groups oppose nuclear power stations because they produce radioactive waste and could release radioactive material if there was an accident. But nuclear power plants do not release greenhouse gases, which cause coal and gas-fired power plants to contribute to global warming. Without nuclear power stations, UK's carbon emissions would be 5% to 12% higher than they are.

一些组织反对核电站,由于它们会产生放射性废物,而假如发生事故可能会开释出放射性物质。但核电站并不会开释温室气体,而以煤炭和煤气为燃料的发电站会开释这种气体,造玉成球变热。假如没有核电站,英国的碳排量将会比现在高出 5% 至 12%。

In 1957, the world's first nuclear power accident occurred at Windscale in west Cumbria. A fire in the reactor caused a release of radioactivity, which led to a ban on milk sales from nearby farms. The site was later renamed Sellafield. Modern reactors are designed to shut down automatically. The worst nuclear power accident in history took place in Chernobyl in 1986 when a reactor there exploded, killing tens of people instantly and exposing hundreds of thousands more to radiation.

在 1957 年,全世界首次核电站事故在坎布里亚郡西部的温士盖(Windscale)发生了。反应堆中发生火灾,导致放射线被开释出来,以至于四周农场的牛奶被禁止销售。该地区后来更名为塞拉菲尔德(Sellafield)。现代反应堆有自动封闭的设计。历史上最严重的核电站事故发生在 1986 年的切尔诺贝利,一个反应堆发生了爆炸,当场炸死几十人,更有上万人受到辐射影响。

In January, the government reaffirmed its plans to expand nuclear power in Britain to help it meet stringent targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

在一月,政府重申了其在英国扩张核电站的计划,以帮助它达到减少二氧化碳排放量的苛刻目标。

Nuclear weapons

核武器

There are two main types of nuclear weapon: atomic bombs, which are powered by fission reactions similar to those in nuclear reactors, and hydrogen bombs, which derive their explosive power from fusion reactions.

核武器有两种主要类型:原子弹,其能量来源于与核反应堆类似的核聚变反应,以及氢弹,其爆炸能量来源于核聚变反应。

The first atomic bomb was produced at Los Alamos National Laboratory in America under the Manhattan Project at the end of the second world war. An atomic bomb uses conventional explosives to slam together two lumps of fissionable material, usually uranium-235 or plutonium-239. This creates what is known as a critical mass of nuclear material, which releases its energy instantaneously as atoms inside it split in an uncontrolled chain reaction.

第一颗原子弹是在二战末期的曼哈顿计划下于美国洛斯·阿拉莫斯国家实验室生产的。原子弹利用常规爆炸让铀 235 和钚 239 这两块***性原料相互撞击。这会造成核原料所谓的临界质量,当其中的原子在无法控制的连锁反应中***时,能在瞬间开释出能量。

Atomic bombs unleash enormous shock waves and high levels of neutron and gamma radiation. In atomic bombs, uranium is enriched much more than fuel, to about 85% uranium-235.

原子弹能放出极强的冲击波和高放射性的中子和伽马辐射。在原子弹中,铀的浓度要比在燃料中更高,大约含有 85% 的铀 235。

On August 6 1945, an atomic bomb called Little Boy was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, followed three days later by another, called Fat Man, on Nagasaki.

在 1945 年 8 月 6 日,一颗名为小男孩的原子弹被投放到日本的广岛,三天后,另一颗叫胖子的在长崎爆炸了。

Hydrogen, or thermonuclear bombs, work in almost the opposite way to atomic bombs. Much of their explosive power comes from fusing together hydrogen atoms to form heavier helium atoms, which releases far more energy than a fission bomb. Two types, or isotopes, of hydrogen are used - deuterium and tritium. A deuterium atom is the same as a hydrogen atom, except the former has an extra neutron in its nucleus. A tritium atom has two extra neutrons.

氢弹,或称热核炸弹,的工作原理几乎与原子弹完全相反。其大部分爆炸能量都来源于将氢原子聚合起来,形成质量更大的氦原子的过程,其开释的能量要比核裂变的原子弹大得多。它使用两种类型,或称同位素,的氢——氘和氚。氘原子和氢原子一模一样,除了其化学式的原子核中多了一个中子。氚原子多了两个中子。

A hydrogen bomb has a built-in atomic bomb, which is needed to trigger the fusion reaction. Hydrogen bombs have never been used in war and are thousands of times more powerful than atomic bombs.

氢弹内置了一颗原子弹,用于触发聚变反应。氢弹从未在战争中使用过,它要比原子弹的威力强上千倍。

The first test of a hydrogen bomb was at Enewatak, an atoll in the Pacific Ocean. It released a three mile-wide fireball and a mushroom cloud that rose to nearly 60,000 feet, destroying an island in the process.

首次氢弹试验发生在 Enewatak,那是太平洋上的一处环礁。它开释出了直径三英里的火球和高达近 60000 英尺的蘑菇云,在爆炸中摧毁了一座岛屿。

Nuclear waste

核废物

One of the biggest problems the nuclear industry faces is what to do with the radioactive waste it produces. Some of it will remain radioactive and hazardous for hundreds of thousands of years.

核产业所面临的最大题目之一就是如何处理所产生的放射性废物。其中部分依然保持着放射性,其威胁性会持续上万年。

High-level waste is the most dangerous because it can melt through containers and is so radioactive it would be fatal if someone was near it for a few days. This type of waste makes up just 0.3% of Britain's total volume of nuclear waste, which is mostly waste from spent fuel rods. The largest amounts of radioactive waste are made up of nuclear fuel cases, reactor components and uranium.

高放射性废物是最危险的,由于它能熔穿容器,而且放射性强到在它旁边的人只需几天就有致命危险。这种废物只占英国核废物总量的 0.3%,其中大部分都是来自于用尽了的燃料棒的。放射性废物中占比例最大的部分是核燃料部件、反应堆部件和铀。

Today, high-level waste is dealt with by cooling it in water for several years and then mixing it into a molten glass, which is poured into steel containers. These canisters are then stored in a concrete-lined building.

如今,高放射性废物的处理方式是将它在水中冷却数年,然后将其混进熔融态的玻璃中,接着倒进铁质容器。这些容器接着就被保存在混凝土内衬的建筑物中。

This is only a temporary measure, though. Scientists know that eventually they need to find a way of storing nuclear waste safely for thousands of years. Some countries, such as America and Finland, plan to store nuclear waste in deep underground bunkers. For this to be safe, scientists have to be sure the material could never leak out and contaminate water supplies or rise up to the su***ce.

但这只是种临时方案。科学家知道他们终极将需要找出一种在上千年中安全储存核废物的方法。一些国荚冬例如美国和芬兰,计划将核废物储存在地底深处的掩体中。为了保证安全,科学家们必须确保这些物质决不可能泄漏出来,以至于污染水源或者升至地表。

Britain already has more than 100,000 tonnes of higher activity radioactive waste that needs to be stored. Large amounts of low-level waste are already stored in concrete vaults in Drigg in Cumbria. Other plans for disposing of nuclear waste have included dumping it at sea and blasting it into space.

英国已经产生了超过 100000 吨需要储存起来的高放射性的废物。大量高放射性废物已经被储存在坎布里亚郡 Drigg 的混凝土地下室中了。其他处理核废物的计划包括倒进海中和发射到宇宙中。

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