Friday, May 19, 2017

Trip to Tricastin and the Nuclear Power Plant

We visited Tricastin Nuclear Power Plant today. Located in Tricastin, France and next to the Canal de Donzere-Mondragon, the nuclear power plant is host to four pressurized water reactors, producing 900 MW of power.
We visited Tricastin Nuclear Power Plant today. Located in Tricastin, France and next to the Canal de Donzere-Mondragon, the nuclear power plant is host to four pressurized water reactors, producing 900 MW of power. The plant, run by √Člectricit√© de France (EDF) is responsible for 88% of the electricity needs of France.

With red helmets and steel toed shoes on, we delved into the Tricastin nuclear plant. We learned that there are three loops of the uranium run, nuclear energy. The first loop is called the primary circuit, consisting of the nuclear fission of Uranium-235, producing high temperatures to heat water. The second loop, the secondary circuit, is responsible for condensing the hot water from steam to liquid, spinning a turbine and producing energy. The final loop, the cooling circuit, cools the water that is condensed.


We were able to see the second of four turbines today, for it was out of its shell/ covering and we were able to feel the corrosion on the turbine due to the water that moves it. We also learned about the recycling practices done by EDF which are not common in the US. Afterward, we visited the city of Avignon. This city is home to the Palace of the Popes, where seven Catholic Popes lived from 1303 to 1377, and was therefore the seat of the Catholic Church during that time.


We were given a guided tour of the Palace and learned about its history. The city surrounded by a stone wall and the part of the city we visited still has buildings in use from ancient times. We also had free time for lunch to explore part of the city. It was interesting to see how the ancient buildings are adapted and used for modern life.


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