Winpev Energy

Winpev Energy is an extensive resource of energy, plant design, and a wide range of topics on engineering. We provide an unbiased broad perspective on energy.

Strategies For Essay Writing

Start the paragraph out by stating the supporting idea. Then follow up with further sentences that comprise supporting info, details, proof or examples – as proven in your diagram or outline. The concluding sentence ought to sum up what you have mentioned within the paragraph. Say goodbye to your stress, and allow us to write an essay for you!

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Comment – Consider the strengths and limitations of the proof and examples that you’ve introduced. Explain how your evidence supports your claim (i.e. how does it https://handmadewriting.com/samples/biology/the-basic-units-of-life/ ‘prove’ your matter sentence?). When writing an introduction, you should typically use a basic to specific construction. An essay isn’t like a thriller novel which retains the reader in suspense; it should not slowly reveal the argument to the reader. Instead, the competition and supporting arguments are often acknowledged in the introduction. When asking your self, “what ought to I write about?” it could be helpful to write down every thing that comes to thoughts and narrow it down later.

Write down everything that comes to mind as you probably can all the time slim these subjects down later. Persuasive essay – Convince the reader about some perspective. Narrative essay – Tell a narrative or impart information about your subject in an easy, orderly method, like in a narrative. Learn how to write a analysis query that may assist body your research.

You need to simply sit and consider ideas throughout this section. Argumentative essay – Take a position on a controversial issue and present evidence in favor of your position. If you’ve been assigned an argumentative essay, take a look at these prime 10 argumentative essay topics.

And whenever you’re completed, return and edit it until it’s “good” according to your teacher’s standards. What this means virtually is that whenever you’re attempting to put in writing that perfect, A-plus-worthy sentence, you are turning off most of your greatest assets and writing expertise. The instructions you provide must be easy to follow, detailed, and complete with every thing wanted to attain one of the best end result attainable. You can’t possibly cowl every thing on a subject – and you aren’t anticipated to – so you have to tell your reader how you may have chosen to narrow the focus of your essay. This might also be an appropriate place to introduce the reader to key terms and provide definitions, if required.

A more engaging energetic voice exhibits the reader precisely about the topic. Whether you want your audience to grasp your essay and take it critically, then punctuation, grammar, and magnificence are all essential parts of your essay. You should have a clear understanding of the verb, pronoun use, and subject agreement and the structure of the sentences. The following are helpful steps for growing a prime stage view to organize ideas on your essay.

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What is a pipe and what are the types of Pipes?

What is a Pipe?
According to the Merriam dictionary, a pipe is defined as a long tube or hollow body for conducting a liquid, gas, or finely divided solid or for structural purposes. From the engineering perspective, pipes are defined as circular tubular products used for conveying fluids (liquids, gases, and fluidized solids). For transporting fluid, pipes are designed for a particular design pressure corresponding to design temperature. Various parameters such as pipe size, pipe thickness, pipe material, pressure withstanding capability, temperature withstanding capability, etc. are considered during piping design.

Applications of Pipes:
Different types of pipes are used in the industrial sector for different purposes. Oil & gas, process industries, chemical & petrochemical industries, food & beverage industries, energy & power industries, refineries & pipeline industries, HVAC industries, steel & infrastructure industries, and daily water sewerage line requires pipes to transport fluid from one place to another. In modern life, the use of pipes is so broad that we cannot imagine any industrial process without pipes.

Types of Pipes:
Due to the application of a large number of industries and processes, the types of pipes are many. The type of pipe is chosen based on various application factors. In this article, we will discuss the different types of pipes that are widely used in industries.

1. Based on the material of the pipes

Pipes can be classified based on the material which is used to produce the pipe during manufacturing. In general, there are two types of pipes:
1. a. Metallic Pipes
1. b. Non-metallic Pipes

1.a. Metallic Pipes
The pipes which are made of metal are known as metallic pipes. They can be categorized into two categories:

1.a.1. Pipes made from ferrous materials
1.a.2 Pipes made from non-ferrous materials

1.a.1 Type of Pipes made from ferrous materials:
Pipes made from ferrous materials are stronger and heavier. These category pipes are most suitable used for heavy-duty work to transport high pressure or high temperature even sometimes heavy fluids. The common application of pipes made from ferrous material is in the oil & gas industries, chemical & petrochemical, energy & power industries, and refineries & piping industries.  These pipes have iron as their main constituent element. Common examples of pipes made from ferrous materials are-

  • Cast Iron pipes
  • Carbon steel pipes
  • Stainless steel pipes
  • Alloy steel pipes
  • Duplex Stainless Steel (DSS) pipes
  • Ductile Iron pipes and so on.

1.a.2 Type of Pipes made from Non-ferrous materials:
Although these pipes are metallic, however iron is not the main constituent of these pipes. These pipes are usually made of copper, aluminum, brass, etc. Non-ferrous material pipes are mostly used in the process piping industry. The main reason behind that is these materials have excellent tensile strength. For example, pipes made of Nickel and Nickel alloys are ideal to use in extreme heat environments because of their resistance property, and it has a passivating oxide coating on their covering. Nickel-copper, nickel- Molybdenum, and nickel-chromium are the most common alloys of Nickel. Nickel and its alloys offer resistance against corrosion and oxidation. This material is suitable to use in applications where alkalis or storing caustic soda is present. It is generally utilized in seawater and mild atmospheric applications. Common pipes made from non-ferrous materials are-

  • Copper and copper alloy pipes.
  • Aluminum and Aluminum alloy pipes.
  • Nickel and Nickel alloy pipes.
  • Titanium and titanium alloy pipes.
  • Zirconium and Zirconium alloy pipes.

1.b. Non-metallic Pipes
Non-metallic pipes are widely used for services where the temperature is not very high. Non-critical services like water industries and drainage systems make use of most of the non-metallic pipes. Common non-metallic and widely used pipes are:

  • Polyethene (PE) plastic pipe/ high-density polyethene (HDPE) Pipes
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) / uPVC/ CPVC Pipes
  • PP pipes
  • Reinforced thermoplastic pipes or RTPs
  • ABS Pipes
  • Composite pipes like GRE/GRP/FRP Pipes
  • Cement and Asbestos Cement Pipes
  • Vitrified clay pipes

The main advantages of reinforced plastic and composite pipes are that they are highly corrosion resistant and durable. While metallic pipes are usually designed for up to 25 years of service. Composite and Reinforced plastic pipes can easily serve up to 50 years. However, their main limitation is the temperature. Non-metallic pipes are not suitable for high-temperature applications. Cement pipes, manufactured from reinforced concretes are usually used for stormwater, gravity service, irrigation industries, and culverts.

2. Types of Pipes based on industry application
As pipes are used in a wide range of industries, therefore these also can be classified based on the industry application. The major types of pipes based on industry applications are-

2.a. Pipes for the Plumbing industry
2.b. Pipes for Chemical and Power industries
2.c. Pipes for the Pipeline industry

2.a Types of Pipes for the Plumbing industry
Pipes are essential to supply water to the kitchen tap or to drain wastewater to the sewage system. These types of drainage and delivery systems have been around since ancient times. In modern times, the common plumbing pipes are PVC pipes, PEX pipes, Copper pipes, ABS pipes, Cast Iron and galvanized steel pipes, etc. They are mainly used for water distribution purposes.

2.b. Types of Pipes for Chemical and Power industries
These types of pipes are suitable for high-temperature and pressure applications. Mainly pipes made from ferrous materials are used in the chemical & petrochemical industries, power & energy industries, steel industries, and oil & gas industries. The chemical and power industry pipes are designed by following codes like ASME B31.3, ASME B31.1, and also other international standards and codes. They are usually selected based on their ability to sustain pressure, temperature, corrosion resistance, etc.

2.c. Pipes for the Pipeline industry
Pipes used in pipeline industries are usually known as line pipes. These pipes are designed by API 5L standard. There are various grades of API 5L pipes that are used to convey oil, gas, or water through pipelines. Other types of pipeline materials are SS, DSS, SDSS, GRE, FRP, etc.

3. Types of Pipes depending on the fluids transported

As you already know the main purpose of pipes is to transport fluids from one point to another, therefore depending on the type of fluid used to transport, pipes can be categorized as-

  • Water Pipes those transport water.
  • Gas pipes transport gaseous substances such as methane gas in the gas power plant.
  • Steam pipes transport steam such as steam in the steam power plant.
  • Vapor pipes transport different vapors of products such as vapor chemicals in the chemical industry.
  • Oil pipes transporting crude or processed oils.
  • Hydrogen pipes carrying hydrogens.

4. Types of Pipes depending on the manufacturing process
Pipes can also be classified based on the manufacturing process. These are again sub-categorized depending on the material of the pipe. For example, Metallic pipes can be categorized as-
4.a. Seamless pipes
4.b. Welded pipe
        4.b.1 Electric resistance welded (ERW) pipes
         4.b.2 Longitudinal Submerged Arc-Welding (LSAW) pipes

4.a. Seamless pipes
The most common types of seamless pipes are:

  • ASTM A106, A333, A53, and API 5L (CS and LTCS pipes)
  • ASTM A312 Series 300 and 400 (SS pipes with grades 304, 316, 321, 347)
  • ASTM A335 Grades P5 to P91 (Alloy steel pipes)
  • ASTM A790/A928 (DSS and SDSS pipes)
  • Nickel alloys (Inconel, Hastelloy, Cupronickel, Monel, Nickel 200)

In general, pipes with a diameter of less than 16 inches are seamless, and larger diameter pipes are welded. Seamless pipes are preferred due to the absence of the weld seam which is considered a weak point. However, they are costlier than welded pipes. Also, for large-diameter pipes, producing seamless pipes becomes difficult.

Carbon steel pipes (A53, A333, A106, and API 5L) have the largest market share since they are cheaper and suitable for a wide range of applications ranging from -29 Deg C to 427 Deg C.

Similarly, Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) pipes are classified as-

  • Filament winding GRP pipes
  • Continuous winding GRP pipes
  • Helical Filament winding GRP pipes

4.b. Welded pipe
4.b.1. Electric resistance welded (ERW) pipes
4.b.2. Longitudinal Submerged Arc-Welding (LSAW) pipes

Final Words:

Different types of pipes are used in various industries. The properties of those pipes are different based on their materials and compositions. Therefore, the types of pipes are very broad and there are various parameters that contribute to the classification of pipes. However, the most widely accepted pipe classification is based on the material used to fabricate the pipe. To buy different types of pipes you can visit Iminning Tuberia Industrial.

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Inside of a data center

What are the main components of a data center?

Over time, the usage of data is increasing exponentially. For on-time availability of online data and applications, the number of data centers is also increasing. If you already have a basic idea of a data center, you may know a data center is a structure that houses an organization’s shared IT operations and equipment to store, process, and distribute data and applications. Data centers are important to the continuity of everyday operations since they store an organization’s most critical and proprietary assets.

The requirements and architectures of a data center can differ considerably. For example, a data center built for a government facility may store classified data for a dedicated purpose. Whereas commercial data center facilities built by cloud service providers like Google and Amazon can store data and provide cloud service and maintain different levels of security, infrastructures, power backup systems, and so on. Therefore, the components of the data centers can vary significantly based on the purpose, size, and tier of the data centers. Regardless of the purpose, size, and data center tiers classification, the design of data centers needs to be optimized by investments for the facility and the equipment it consists of.

Here is the list of the core components with a brief description of a data center:

1. Overall Facility – The overall facility consists of the usable space available for IT equipment, support infrastructure, heating system, cooling system, power supply system, round-the-clock monitoring system, security system, and administrative systems. In addition, there may have space for the storage area of emergency consumables such as power cables, network cables, etc. As the data centers are one of the most power density facilities, therefore, the optimization of the power consumption and space, including data center space is a vital issue during the design of the overall facility.

2. IT components – The IT components of data centers consist of computing hardware, racks, storage systems, servers, networking systems, routers, switches, and various security elements, such as firewalls. In addition, data centers also consist of security surveillance systems, and data center operation and monitoring systems.

3. Support infrastructure – The typical uptime of four tiers data centers ranging from 99.671% to 99.995% is defined by the Uptime Institute. Therefore, the support infrastructure of the data centers needs to ensure the highest possible availability. for equipment contributing to securely sustaining the highest availability possible. Some components for supporting infrastructure include:

  • Environmental control – To control the temperature, humidity, and airflow in the data center there consists of a computer room air conditioner (CRAC) unit, computer room air handling (CRAH) unit, and exhaust systems.
  • Uninterruptible Power Sources (UPS) – To maintain the uninterruptible power in the facility there consist of battery banks, backup diesel generators, and redundant power sources.
    • Physical security systems – For the physical security of the data centers there consist of video surveillance systems, and biometric authentication systems.

4. Operations & Maintenance Team – To maintain round-the-clock operation the data center also has data center operators, technicians, and network engineers to monitor operations and maintain IT and infrastructure equipment. It also works for incident management, front-line support for firefighting, administrative works, service works, etc.

These are the major components of data centers. However, there are also additional components that are also very important for the smooth operation of a data center. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to write them down.

data center

What is a data center?

A data center is a structure that houses an organization’s shared IT operations and equipment in order to store, process, and distribute data and applications. Data centers are important to the continuity of everyday operations since they store an organization’s most critical and proprietary assets. As a result, data center security and reliability, as well as the information they contain, are among an organization’s top considerations.

Data centers used to be tightly managed physical infrastructures, but the public cloud has changed that. Most modern data center infrastructures have evolved from on-premises physical servers to virtualize infrastructure that supports applications and workloads across multi-cloud environments, with the exception of regulatory requirements that require an on-premises data center without internet connections.

The Function of Data Center
The data center is an important infrastructure of any organization, as they support corporate applications and provide services like:

  • Data storage, administration, backup, and recovery are all important aspects of data management.
  • Email and other productivity applications
  • E-commerce transactions with a high volume
  • Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data
  • Providing support for online gaming communities

According to several research and reports, there are more than 7 million data centers in the world now. Almost every company and government agency either creates and maintains its own data center or has access to another’s, if not both. Many choices are available today, including renting servers at a colocation facility, employing third-party data center services, or using public cloud-based services from Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Sony.

The Basic Components of Data Center IT systems
The structures and requirements of data centers might be somewhat different. A data center created for a cloud service provider like Amazon, for example, meets different facility, infrastructure, and security criteria than a wholly private data center, such as one built for a government facility dedicated to securing sensitive data. An effective data center operation, regardless of classification, is achieved through a balanced investment in the building and the equipment it houses. Furthermore, because data centers frequently store an organization’s business-critical data and applications, both the facilities and the equipment must be protected against intrusions and cyber attacks. Routers, switches, firewalls, storage systems, servers, and application delivery controllers are the empirical components of a data center design.

The following are the five major elements that must be present for a data center IT system to work properly:
a) Application: It’s a computer program that provides the reasoning for performing calculations.
b) Database management system (DBMS): A systematic method to store data in an orderly table that is interlinked to each other is provided by a database management system (DBMS).
c) Host or Compute: A computing platform that works with an application database.
d) Storage: A storage device is one that saves data consistency for later use.
e) Network: A data channel that improves communication between all of its networked devices.

Types of Data Center Facilities
The growth and classification of various different types of data center facilities have resulted from the expansion of data center infrastructure. Here are some types of data center facilities-
a) Enterprise Data Center Facilities: These are facilities that are conventionally organized and owned and controlled by a single company. These are usually on-site, and maintenance, IT deployments, hardware upgrades, and network monitoring are all overseen by an in-house team.
b) Colocation Data Centers: A colocation data center is a shared data center where an organization can rent space for servers and other hardware. The advantages of colocation over in-house data centers include that the facility provides the building, power, HVAC, internet bandwidth, and physical security, while you (the customer) are responsible for providing and maintaining the hardware.
c) Cloud Data Center — In recent years, this sort of data center construction has grown in popularity. A cloud data center is an off-premises facility that your firm may use over the internet, but you are not responsible for managing the equipment.
d) Managed Data Centers: A corporation rents the physical infrastructure while a third-party managed service provider oversees the hardware and facility in a managed service data center arrangement.

For more information, you can watch this video on Anixter youtube channel:

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5S in 6 Sigma

What are the 5S in Six Sigma?

In a work environment, we cannot operate in a haphazard manner. It increases waste, reduces productivity, impacts delivery, and above all, results in customer dissatisfaction! So, by applying the 5S technique, we can solve the problem.

What is 5S?
The term came from the Japanese designer (at Toyota Production System) Taichi Ohno and Shigeo Shingo. 5S is a set of 5 Japanese words starting with S. Translated into English, all the words start with S as well. The 5S’s sequenced as a series of 5 steps as follows –

Step 1: Sort [Seiri]
In this step, the 5s concept practitioner has the responsibility to go through all the equipment, tools, and resources they have and determine which equipment or resources have to be retained on the work floor and which resources have to be eliminated. When they find tools that are not relevant to their work they can simply place back that equipment into the concerned departments. If they feel that some resources need to be completely eliminated from the workspace, then they have to put a red tag on that particular item and get authorization or permission from their senior officials before they dispose of it or recycle the item. In simple words, the practitioner has to segregate the important or useful things from the unnecessary thing and discard the unnecessary.

Step 2: Straighten or Set in Order [Seiton]
In this step, the 5S practitioner has to re-organize their workplace after eliminating unnecessary tools and equipment. Here the practitioner follows the simple philosophy of “a place for everything, and everything in its place”. This will help the other staff members locate the required resources easily and swiftly. This concept can be applied to any sector. In other words, the practitioner of 5S concepts arranges all the resources and tools in a systematic manner.

Step 3: Shine [Seiso]
In this step, the practitioner ensures that the equipment and tools are tidy and can be readily used by other staff members. If this concept is applied in the information technology sector, then the practitioner has the responsibility to delete all the irrelevant files and folders. In simple words, this concept focuses on tidiness and cleanliness in the workplace.

Step 4: Standardize [Seiketsu]
The practitioner can combine similar work activities in their facility and allot a workspace for that particular process in the work facility. For instance, if there are five lathe machines scattered across different locations doing the same work, then the practitioner can place all these units in one place so that better results can be achieved through constant monitoring of work processes. This concept can be applied in any sector to reduce redundancy.

Step 5: Sustain [Shitsuke]
This is the final step or stage in the 5S concept implementation. In this stage, the practitioner has to ensure that tools/resources are in neat and tidy condition and are placed where they are meant to be.

Project management

What are the steps for completing a successful project?

Here are the 5 steps for completing a successful project.

1. Create a high-performing team
2. Planning
3. Execution
4. Keep tracking the team and work schedules
5. Keeping the business in mind

For example, you want to create an EV-car factory. Your first step would be, to create a high-performing team. The project manager will make a plan for how to make the car factory with that high-performing team.

Then the work execution will be started. This is the main step of the project. However, for the final result of the project, you need to keep tracking the team and work schedules. At the same time, you need to keep in mind the budget, business, and final deliverables.

Crankcase ERV

What is the function of an explosion relief valve (ERV) in a crankcase?

Crankcase overpressure relief valves have three functions:

(1) Rapidly relieve excess pressure inside the crankcase
(2) Prevent flame inside the crankcase from escaping and causing further damage
(3) Rapidly close after the crankcase pressure is relieved to prevent the air from entering into the crankcase.

Figure: Crankcase overpressure relief valve operation.

The figures show that the relief valves have a light spring that holds the valve tightly against its seat. The pressure inside the crankcase is relieved, and the spring closes the valve automatically. Figures show an image of a properly operating crankcase relief valve. The valve is still closed on the left of the picture while an internal explosion is about to open. On the right, the internal pressure has forced the valve open, compressing the spring while the hot pressurized gas, but not the flame, is vented to the atmosphere. Once the pressure is relieved, the compressed spring closes the valve.

Figure: ERV in the industry.

API 618 requires a relief area to crankcase volume ratio of 3.0 in²/ft³ (683 cm² /m³), which is higher than any of the engine standards. With properly sized and installed overpressure relief valves, experience has shown that the risk of damage and injury from crankcase explosions can be eliminated. Most compressor and engine manufacturers offer them as standard equipment on large machines and options for smaller frame sizes.

Final Words

The crankcase explosion relief valve (ERV) rapidly relieves excess pressure, prevents flame, and rapidly closes after the crankcase pressure is relieved.

More to Read

1. Renewable energy
2. Nuclear energy

Flow control valve

Why is a bypass line required for the control valve?

A bypass line may or may not be required during installing of a control valve in the piping of a process plant. Unless otherwise required, the necessity of installing a bypass line is determined by the P & ID creator (process engineer) in consideration of safety, operability, maintainability, economy, etc. Also, the process licensors and customers may be determined by the above requirements.

Therefore, in this article, I shall explain when a bypass line is necessary and whether it needs to be installed. In addition, we will also explain the points to keep in mind when installing a bypass line. By clearly stating the criteria for the necessity of bypass lines in a book that summarizes the concept and further describing it in the P & ID legend sheet (lead sheet), the process design department and the piping design department have a common understanding and are surely reflected in the design.

When installing a bypass line is required?

Bypass lines are often required at the control valve during plant operation. In a large process plant, it takes time to start up or shut down the entire process. Before the regular operation time, the production volume of the product (fluids such as steam or gas) needs to escape from the prime mover. So, installing a bypass line to the control valve can continue the operation.

Supplement: As for the pressure-equalizing line and pressure-equalizing valve installed around the high differential pressure control valve, the purpose of the installation is different from the above, so the consideration explained in this article is not necessary. In such a case, when performing maintenance of the control valve, close the block valves before and after the control valve, remove the control valve, and manually adjust the opening of the bypass valve to adjust the flow rate and control the operation of the plant.

When is a bypass line not required to install?

Depending on the fluid to be handled and the operating concept of the entire plant, troubles (leakage, erroneous operation, etc.) caused by installing a bypass line may not be tolerated. In such cases, the bypass line will not be installed even if the control valve has to shut down the plant for maintenance. In addition, from the viewpoint of the economy, there are cases where a bypass line is not installed to reduce the amount of piping work and the construction cost.

The above is decided by comprehensively considering operability and maintainability, construction cost, and operating cost, so it is necessary to consult with customers and related departments in good consultation. If a bypass line is not installed, an operation handle (hand-wheel) may be provided on the control valve as shown above to enable manual operation on-site if necessary. However, when selecting a control valve, consider whether the operation case at the low opening and high opening during unsteady operation is covered without bypass (whether the control valve is of the type with such rangeability).

In addition, as shown in the above figure, the control valve, including the cutoff circuit, often does not have a bypass line. We are considering the risk that dangerous fluid will flow out of the bypass line even though the broken circuit is working due to the opening due to the erroneous operation of the bypass line.

Points to be considered during installation of a bypass line

The flow coefficient (Cv) value
– of bypass valve ・ Countermeasures against the erroneous operation
– of bypass valve ・Operability of the bypass valve

Value of Bypass valve flow coefficient (Cv)
Since it is necessary to adjust the opening of the manual valve of the bypass line, the globe valve is basically selected. In principle, the same Cv value as the control valve is selected. However, depending on the operating case, it is necessary to select a valve that covers the low opening range and high opening range as necessary. The Cv is a universal capacity index and is simply defined in terms of U.S. gallons of water per minute at 60°F (or 15℃) that will flow through a valve with a pressure drop of 1 psi (or 6894.76 N/m2).

Countermeasures against the erroneous operation of the bypass valve

If the bypass valve is inadvertently opened by operation during operation, there is a risk that the operation will be disturbed, leading to plant failure or emergency stop. It needs to be designed properly. For example, removing the manual handle of the bypass valve during plant operation and using the Locked Open / Close specification are effective measures to prevent erroneous operations. It is also important to keep in mind the effect of opening the bypass valve by mistake and letting it flow back through the valve. If backflow is unacceptable, installing a shut-off valve on the upstream side is necessary.

Bypass valve operability

It is also necessary to think about the field indicators (pressure gauge, thermometer) necessity for operating the bypass valve should be installed in a place that can be seen from the operating position. For that purpose, it is necessary to consider the on-site target indicator by noting “In View” on the P & ID and clearly stating the relationship with the target bypass valve. It is also important to secure a space between the actuator and accessories and the bypass line, considering the maintainability and operability of the control valve.

Summary

In this article, I explained the idea of ​​the necessity of the control valve bypass line. Here is the summary of the article-
A bypass line may or may not be installed when installing a control valve in piping. Unless otherwise required, the necessity of installing a bypass line is determined by the P & ID creator (process engineer) in consideration of safety, operability, maintainability, economy, etc. Also, the process licensors and customers may determine the above requirements. By clearly stating the criteria for the necessity of bypass lines in a book that summarizes the concept and further describing it in the P & ID legend sheet (lead sheet), the process design department and the piping design department have a common understanding and are surely reflected in the design.

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Is nuclear energy renewable energy or not?

Although nuclear energy is considered clean energy its inclusion in the renewable energy list is a subject of major debate. To understand the debate we need to understand the definition of renewable energy and nuclear energy first.

Renewable energy is defined as an energy source/fuel type that can regenerate and can replenish itself indefinitely. The five renewable sources used most often are biomass, wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal.

Nuclear energy on the other hand is a result of heat generated through the fission process of atoms. All power plants convert heat into electricity using steam. At nuclear power plants, the heat to make the steam is created when atoms split apart – called fission. Fission releases energy in the form of heat and neutrons. The released neutrons then go on to hit other neutrons and repeat the process, hence generating more heat. In most cases the fuel used for nuclear fission is uranium.

Arguments for nuclear energy as a renewable energy

Most supporters of nuclear energy point out the low carbon emission aspect of nuclear energy as its major characteristic to be defined as renewable energy. According to nuclear power opponents, if the goal to build a renewable energy infrastructure is to lower carbon emission then there is no reason for not including nuclear energy in that list. [1]

But one of the most interesting arguments for including nuclear energy in the renewable energy portfolio came from Bernard L Cohen, former professor at the University of Pittsburg. Professor Cohen defined the term ‘indefinite'(time span required for an energy source to be sustainable enough to be called renewable energy) in numbers by using the expected relationship between the sun (source of solar energy) and the earth. According to Professor Cohen, if the Uranium deposit could be proved to last as long as the relationship between the Earth and Sun is supposed to last (5 billion years) then nuclear energy should be included in the renewable energy portfolio. [2]

In his article, Professor Cohen claims that using breeder reactors (nuclear reactor able to generate more fissile material than it consumes) it is possible to fuel the earth with nuclear energy indefinitely. Although the amount of uranium deposit available could only supply nuclear energy for about 1000 years, Professor Cohen believes the actual amount of uranium deposit available is way more than what is considered extractable right now. In his arguments, he includes uranium that could be extracted at a higher cost, uranium from the sea-water, and also uranium from eroding earth crust by river water. All of those possible uranium resources if used in a breeder reactor would be enough to fuel the earth for another 5 billion years and hence render nuclear energy as renewable energy. [2]

Arguments against nuclear as a renewable energy

One of the biggest arguments against including nuclear energy in the list of renewable is the fact that uranium deposit on earth is finite, unlike solar and wind. To be counted as renewable, the energy source (fuel) should be sustainable for an indefinite period of time, according to the definition of renewable energy.

Another major argument proposed by the opponents of including nuclear energy as renewable energy is the harmful nuclear waste from nuclear power reactors. Nuclear waste is considered a radioactive pollutant that goes against the notion of a renewable energy source. [1] Yucca Mountain is one of the examples used quite often to prove this point. Most of the opponents in the US also point at the fact that while most renewable energy sources could render the US energy independent, uranium would still keep the country energy-dependent as the US would still have to import uranium. [1]

Final words

It seems like at the heart of the debate lies the confusion over the exact definition of renewable energy and the requirements that need to be met in order to be one. The recent statement by Helene Pelosi, the interim director general of IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency), saying IRENA will not support nuclear energy programs because its a long, complicated process, it produces waste, and is relatively risky, proves that their decision has nothing to do with having a sustainable supply of fuel. [3] And if that’s the case then nuclear proponents would have to figure out a way to deal with the nuclear waste management issue and other political implications of nuclear power before they can ask IRENA to reconsider including nuclear energy in the renewable energy list.

References

[1] K. Johnson, “Is Nuclear Power Renewable Energy,” Wall Street Journal, 21 May 09.
[2] B.L. Cohen, “Breeder Reactors: A Renewable Energy Source,” Am. J. Phys. 51, 75 (1983).
[3] J. Kanter, “Is Nuclear Power Renewable,” New York Times, 3 Aug 09.

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1. Renewable energy
2. Nuclear energy