Nuclear Power Plant Isar, Germany

Spent nuclear fuel pool

Turbine of a nuclear plant

Tag: fission

Nuclear fission

Nuclear fission

We can obtain energy manipulating one or several nuclei of atoms throught two different methods: attaching the cores from different atoms (the nuclear fusion) or splitting a given atom nuclei (the nuclear fission).

In nuclear energy, nuclear fission is the action through which the nucleus of an atom is divided. The core forms different fragments with a mass equivalent to half of the original mass and two or three neutrons.

The total mass of the fragments is smaller than the original…

Nuclear reactor

Nuclear reactor

A nuclear reactor is an installation capable of initiating, controlling and maintaining nuclear reactions (usually nuclear fission) chain that occur in the core of this facility.

The composition of the nuclear reactor is formed by the nuclear fuel, coolant, control elements, structural materials and, in the case in question a thermal nuclear reactor, the moderator.

Nuclear reactors can be classified as thermal reactors and fast reactors.

Thermal reactors are those which function by delaying (moderating) the fastest neutrons or increasing the proportion of fissile atoms.…

Nuclear power plant definition

A nuclear power plant is a facility for the production of electricity using nuclear energy.

Its operation is similar to a thermic power plant. The difference is that the power source from a nuclear plant is nuclear fission of certain atoms while in a thermic power plant the heat source (thermal energy) from burning of one or more fossil fuels (coal, natural gas , fuel ..). As in a conventional thermal power plant the heat is used to generate steam that drives a steam turbine connected to a generator that produces electricity.

The thermal energy that nuclear power…

History of nuclear energy

The Greek philosopher Democritus of Abdera was the first in history to give a definition of atom as the smallest constituent of matter, in the V century B.C. The term "atom" is a Greek word that means "not divisible". But later, with the arrival of nuclear fission it's possible to split atoms to…

Neutron moderator definition

Neutron moderator is a component part of the nuclear reactors. It is located in the reactor core. The function of the moderator is to reduce the speed of the neutrons in a nuclear fission reaction.

During nuclear reactions fission neutrons collide with fissile atoms (

Types of nuclear reactors

We distinguish two types of nuclear reactors

  • Nuclear research reactors. This type of reactors used neutrons generated during nuclear fission reactions to produce radioisotopes that are going to be used in other applications of nuclear energy or materials for studies.
  • Nuclear power reactors. These reactors are based on the use of the thermal energy generated in the fission reactions. The main and most known application of this type of reactor is to generate electricity in nuclear power plants. However, also they are used for desalination…

Advantages and disadvantages of nuclear power

In this section we analyze the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear power. Nevertheless, most organizations related to nuclear energy are already positioned for or against the use of nuclear power. On this site we try to make an objective analysis about this question, giving all the relevant information and offering a space for different conclusions.

Advantages of nuclear power

The generation of electricity through nuclear energy reduces the amount of energy generated from fossil fuels (coal and oil). Less use of fossil fuels means lowering…

What is nuclear energy

Nuclear energy is the energy in the nucleus of an atom. Atoms are the smallest particles that can break a material. At the core of each atom there are two types of particles (neutrons and protons) that are held together. Nuclear energy is the energy that holds neutrons and protons.

Nuclear energy can be used to produce electricity. This energy can be obtained in two ways: nuclear fusion and nuclear fission. In nuclear fusion, energy is released when atoms are combined or fused together to form a larger atom. The sun produces energy like this. In nuclear fission, atoms are split into…

Nuclear fuel

Nuclear fuel

The nuclear fuel is the material used for the generation of nuclear energy. It is a material that can be fissionable or fused according to whether their use is nuclear fission or nuclear fusion.

We refer to both nuclear fuel material (uranium, plutonium ...) as the set made with such nuclear material (fuel rods, nuclear material compositions and the moderator or any other combination.

The best known nuclear fuel is uranium because it is the most used in nuclear fission reactors. All nuclear reactors currently in production for the generation of electrical energy are fission. At…

Plutonium - nuclear fuel

Plutonium is a chemical element with symbol Pu and atomic number 94 which belongs to the actinide series of elements. Plutonium has 16 isotopes, all radioactive. The element is a silvery metal and has 5 different crystal structures.

Chemically plutonium is a very active material. You can form compounds with all nonmetals except the noble gases. The metal dissolves in acidic and reacts with water, but only moderately in comparison with the acid.

While you can find traces in nature, all isotopes of plutonium are of artificial origin.

Radioactivity plutonium

The more…

Chernobyl nuclear accident

The nuclear accident in Chernobyl (1986) is by far the most serious nuclear accident in the history of nuclear energy. It was classified as level 7 (severe nuclear accident) of the INES scale, the highest value. Although it is the same level at the Fukushima nuclear accident was classified, the consequences of the Chernobyl accident were still far worse.

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant is located near the town of Prypyat, 18km from the city of Chernobyl.

At the time of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident provided 4 reactors in operation and two more were under construction.