Q: How many nuclear power plants are operational in the world?
A: The total number of nuclear power plants in operation globally are four hundred and
thirty five (435), out of which 274 nuclear power plants are based on PWR technology.
The highest number of nuclear power plants in operation are hundred (100) in United
States of America. (Reference: International Atomic Energy Agency).
Q: How many nuclear power plants are under construction in the world?
A: Seventy two (72) nuclear power plants are under construction, while the highest number
are twenty eight (28) in People’s Republic of China. (Reference: International Atomic
Q: What are the sources of radiation?
A: Most of the radiation comes from natural sources. This is called background radiation.
The rocks, water, sun, and objects in space emit radiation. The ground we walk on,
the buildings we live in, and nearly everything we touch contains some radioactive
matter. The food we eat and the air we breathe give off radiation. Even our bodies
contain radioactive substances.
Some radiation also comes from man-made sources. Man-made radiation comes
from equipment using radioactive sources such as those in the medical and industrial
sectors. It also emanates from daily-use items such as mantles in camping lanterns,
some kinds of smoke detectors, and wood stoves. Some radiation comes from nuclear
and even coal-fired plants that generate electricity.
A nuclear power plant adds very little to the total man-made radiation we
Q: How can nuclear energy be compared to other power sources?
A: A single uranium fuel pellet the size of a pencil eraser contains the same amount
of energy as 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas, 1,780 pounds of coal or 149 gallons
of oil. (Reference: www.nei.org)
Q: How many greenhouse gases are produced through nuclear energy?
A: There are no emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide during
the production of electricity at nuclear energy facilities. Nuclear energy is a very
clean-air source of energy that produces electricity 24 hours a day, every day.
Q: Can nuclear energy be stated as a renewable energy source?
A: A renewable energy source uses an essentially limitless supply of fuel, whether wind,
the sun or water. Nuclear energy is not a renewable energy source but it is a sustainable
energy source, because there is enough uranium in the world to fuel reactors for
100 years or more.
Q: Are nuclear facilities safe for workers?
A: As part of the industry’s commitment to a safe workplace, employees are continuously
monitored for radiation exposure, for which strict limits are enforced by the independent
nuclear regulatory authority, in Pakistan.
Q: What kinds of personnel are employed at nuclear energy facilities?
A: Highly trained and licensed employees operate reactors and are supported by engineers
and scientists having diverse engineering and scientific background as well as health
physicists, instrumentation and control workers and other professionals. Skilled
craftspeople such as welders and mechanics are an integral part of nuclear power
Q: What are the ways in which nuclear energy facilities contribute for the surrounding residents?
A: Nuclear power plants often are located in rural areas that receive considerable benefits
from a large industrial complex. Utilities and government departments that operate
nuclear energy facilities are involved in the economic uplift of nearby towns and
communities, offering better quality colleges, hospitals, markets and much more.
As the plants operate over several decades, their presence encourages continuity
in their communities by offering employment to over more than one generation of families
Q: Can an explosion in a nuclear power plant occur similar to an atomic bomb?
A: A nuclear explosion is impossible in a nuclear power plant. The nuclear power plant
does not contain the type of fuel which is needed to make atomic bombs. Furthermore,
the fission reaction in a nuclear power plant is controlled.
Q: What kind of protection is present in a nuclear power plant?
A: A nuclear power plant has a series of barriers to keep radiation inside the plant.
First of all, the nuclear fuel is in pellet form. Then the pellets are put into long
metal tubes. These metal tubes are bundled together. The bundled metal tubes are
placed in water inside the reactor vessel, which is eight inches thick steel and
is further lined with stainless steel. The reactor vessel is inside the containment
building. The advanced nuclear power plants have a double containment. They have
two steel-and-concrete domes with airspace in between. The containment can withstand
the crash of a fighter bomber jet. They can also withstand an earthquake right under
the building or other natural disasters.