Sellafield Nuclear Facility, in the UK, has its own gas-fired power station! While this appears mostly for “reprocessing” as well as the cooling of “spent” nuclear fuel (i.e. nuclear waste), operating nuclear reactors are also dependent upon outside sources of power. Thus, the need of nuclear power stations to be connected to the electrical grid.
This dependence upon other sources of power is one of the most bizarre aspects of nuclear power. In the event of electrical grid failures, nuclear cooling systems can be powered with backup generators, which sometimes fail to start up and require diesel fuel to run. This is a major achilles heel of nuclear power.
As explained by the US NRC: “The reactor’s core contains fuel assemblies that are cooled by water circulated using electrically powered pumps. These pumps and other operating systems in the plant receive their power from the electrical grid. If offsite…
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