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…
Isotopes are atoms whose nuclei have the same number of protons but different numbers of neutrons. Not all atoms of the same element are identical and each of these varieties corresponds to a different isotope.
Each isotope of the same element have the same atomic number (Z) but each has a different mass number (A). The atomic number is the number of protons in the atomic nucleus of the atom. The mass number is the sum of neutrons and protons of the core. This means that different isotopes of the same atom differ from each other only by the number of neutrons.
The items that can…
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.…
Uranium is the most commonly used nuclear fuel in nuclear fission reactions. It is a natural element that can be found in nature. However, in order to be able to use uranium in a nuclear reactor it must undergo some treatment.
To know the peculiarities that make uranium so different from the other substances we must first consider some basic nuclear physics.
Basic physical considerations An atom of a nucleus and of electrons that surround this nucleus. In turn, a nucleus consists of protons and neutrons. A proton has a positive charge. A neutron has…
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 (
A proton is a subatomic particle with a positive electric charge that lies within the atomic nucleus of atoms. The number of protons in the atomic nucleus is that which determines the atomic number of an element, as indicated in the periodic table of the elements.
The proton has +1 charge (or, alternatively, 1,602 x 10-19 coulombs), exactly the opposite of the charge -1 containing the electron. In mass, however, there is no competition because the mass of the proton is approximately 1,836 times greater than that of an electron.
The proton is classified as a baryon,…
What is an atom? Imagine you have a piece of iron. The parts. You still have two pieces of iron but smaller. The you come from again ... Every time have smaller pieces until you reach a moment that if the seeming from what you would no longer be iron.
At this point what is left is an atom, an iron atom. Definition of atom
From a more formal way, we define as the smallest atom in an element can be divided without losing its chemical properties particle.
The origin of the word atom comes from the Greek, meaning indivisible. At the time that these particles were baptized…
The pressurized water nuclear reactor is the type of nuclear reactor more used worldwide in the nuclear power plants of generation of electricity. At present, there are more than 230 nuclear reactors in the world made with the pressurized water system. Also known by its abbreviations PW. Its main feature is the use of water under high pressure in the primary circuit to prevent it from boiling.
Within the naval engineering the pressurized water nuclear reactor (PWR) is widely used. In fact, this model was originally designed to be used on a nuclear submarine.
A nuclear power plant is a facility for obtaining electrical energy using nuclear energy.
Its operation is similar to that of a thermal power plant or that of a solar thermal plant: from a source of energy thermodynamics is used to obtain heat, with the heat to get steam and with the steam to drive a turbine that will generate electricity.
The difference between the different types of electrical installations is in the energy source: a nuclear power plant uses the heat released in the nuclear fission reactions of certain atoms, in a thermal power station the heat source (thermal…
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…
To explain the history of nuclear energy we could distinguish three major stages:
- Physical and chemical scientific studies of the elements.
- The development of the nuclear bomb during World War II.
- Use of nuclear energy in the civil field.
Scientific studies cover this whole period since the first Greek philosophers began to define atoms, until the development of the first nuclear bomb. In this process, different scientists discover the presence of electrons, neutrons and protons and properties that make one atom more radioactive than another.…