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…
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 of steam and with the steam to drive a turbine that will generate electricity.
The difference between the different types of electrical installations is that the power 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…
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.…
Nuclear fusion is a nuclear reaction through which two light nuclei of atoms, usually hydrogen and its isotopes (deuterium and tritium), are combined forming a heavier nucleus. This binding is usually accompanied by the emission of particles (in case of deuterium nuclei one neutron is emitted). This nuclear fusion reaction releases or absorbs a lot of energy in the form of gamma rays and kinetic energy of the emitted particles.This large amount of energy transforms matter to a plasma state.
The nuclear fusion reactions can emit or absorb…