Nuclear reactor, fuel loading

Nuclear reactor, fuel loading

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Credit: PATRICK LANDMANN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Nuclear reactor. Worker preparing fuel rod for loading into a nuclear power station's reactor core. This process is carried out underneath water (blue) and using lifting machinery (yellow). This protects the worker from the ionizing radiations produced by the radioactive materials. The fuel rod is being moved from this rectangular storage area to the reactor core. The rods contain uranium and plutonium fuel, used to produce a controlled nuclear fission reaction. This releases large amounts of energy from a small amount of fissionable material. This is the Chooz B1 nuclear power station in the Ardennes region of France. Brought online in May 2000, this pressurized water reactor generates 1500 megawatts of power. Photographed in 2004.

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