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Muslim Role Model Talk: Children learn about nuclear power plants from Mr. Abdul Jaleel

posted 9 Sep 2012, 04:43 by Webmaster Alqamar   [ updated 9 Sep 2012, 04:46 ]

“Why are nuclear plants located on the sea side?” “Why was there a meltdown when the Fukushima reactors had been shut down?” “How did they discover the atom?” were some of the questions the 5th & 6th graders shot at Mr. Abdul Jaleel, our guest for September’s Muslim Role Model talk.

Mr. Jaleel is a Mechanical Engineer who spent his career with the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), India’s top nuclear research agency. Before retirement he was with the Kalpakkam Nuclear Power Plant.  He kindly consented to come spend his valuable time with Al Qamar children and explaining how a nuclear power plant works.  MashaAllah what a rare privilege for Al Qamar students! This talk was a continuation of Al Qamar’s goal of creating a centre of excellence in Science and Maths for Muslim children.

See below the accounts of two children about his talk.

“Abdul Jaleel Uncle came and spoke to us about nuclear energy. He told us that Nuclear energy and Atomic energy are similar. These are the different types of energy: Chemical, Electrical, Solar, Wind, Hydro, Bio, and Mechanical & Nuclear. They are similar because nuclear energy also uses chemical, electrical and mechanical energy. He also told us that U238 and U235 mixed make a pellet. These pellets are used to make electricity. This is how it happens: First the pellets are stored in the core.  When the uranium release two neutrons that hit other uranium pellets and those release some hit others.  When the neutrons are released they give out heat. Water pipes are fixed above it. The water goes into steam. The steam pushes the turbines and that produces ELECTRICITY. There are some facts he told us about like the wall around the core is 1.5 metre thick! And when 2.5 neutrons are released, 200 million electronic volts of energy are also released and the person who discovered atoms is Neil Bohr.”

Nusaibah Anas, 9 years

“Today Abdul Jaleel Uncle came to speak to us. He was an architect of a nuclear power plant and had retired 4 years ago. He told us many things like what are isotopes. Isotopes are a branch of the atom ie. Isotopes of sodium have the same number of protons and electrons but different number of neutrons. 

I asked him what is heavy water and he said heavy water is an isotope of water. Instead of H2O, it is D2O. He said D2O was used to cool the core.

He said nuclear energy was clean and gave more energy.  One atom splitting was equal to 20 million electronic volts. But nuclear energy is dangerous. It can give off radiation which can cause cancer. So there are environmental experts who are constantly checking the water, soil and air for radiation. There are health experts to check people who work in the plants for radiation.

He said the sea water used in the plant is from the 200 feet under the sea because there is less silt. He added that they take tons of water from the sea. “

Aisha Jamal, 11 years