Two kinds of nuclear reactors generate emissions-free electricity: Pressurized Water Reactors and Boiling Water Reactors. FPL's nuclear plants in Florida are pressurized water reactors.

The main difference between the two is that in a boiling water reactor, the reactor core heats water, which turns to steam and drives a steam turbine. In a pressurized water reactor, the reactor core heats but does not boil the water; this hot water then exchanges heat with a lower pressure water system, which turns to steam and drives the turbine. The non-radioactive steam is turned back into water in a condenser with cooling water. The water is then circulated back through the tubes in the reactor to begin the cycle again.

The three separate loops of water in a pressurized water reactor are designed to operate separately, with no mixing of any radioactive water with water that turns the turbine, or water that cools the steam in the condenser.

 

Generating Electricity