Nuclear Power Plant Isar, Germany

Spent nuclear fuel pool

Turbine of a nuclear plant

Radiation

Radioactivity

Radioactivity

We define radioactivity as the spontaneous emission of particles (alpha particles, beta particles, neutrons) or radiations (range, K capture), or both at the same time, coming from the disintegration of certain nuclides that form them, due to an arrangement in its internal structure.

Radioactive decay occurs in unstable atomic nuclei, that is, those that do not have enough binding energy to keep the nucleus together due to an excess of protons or neutrons.

Radioactivity can be natural or artificial. In natural radioactivity, the substance already has it in the natural state. In…

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Sievert

Sievert

The sievert is a unit derived from the dose of ionizing radiation in the International System of Units. It is represented by the symbol Sv. It is a measure of the effect that low levels of ionizing radiation on the human body produce on health. Sievert is of fundamental importance in dosimetry. the protection against radiation.

The name of sievert is due to the Swedish medical physicist Rolf Maximilian Sievert for his work in the measurement of radiation dose. the investigation of the biological effects of radiation.

The quantities that are measured in sieverts…

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Nuclear Energy in Industry

Nuclear Energy in Industry

Industry is one of the fields in which nuclear energy is used. The use of nuclear energy in modern industry in developed countries is very important for the improvement of industrial processes, for measurements and automation, and for quality control.

The use of nuclear radiation is applied in a wide range of activities. These activities can be quality control of raw materials of industrial processes (cement, thermal power plants, oil refineries, etc.), or quality control of products manufactured in series. In the case of series production, it is used as a prerequisite…

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Radiation Therapy

Radiation Therapy

The specialty of nuclear medicine that uses ionizing radiation for the treatment of malignant tumors is known as radiation therapy.

When radioactive unsealed sources speak of metabolic radiotherapy, which involves injecting or to ingest a relatively large dose of a radioactive substance in liquid form, so that it accumulates in the organ to be treated, which acts through used of radiation emitted on fabrics in contact therewith, producing the desired destruction of tumor cells effects.

This type of therapy is used to treat hyperthyroidism, thyroid cancer, bone metastases from…

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Tokaimura Nuclear Accident, Japan

Tokaimura Nuclear Accident, Japan

The uranium fuel treatment facility is located in Tokaimura (Japan), 120km northeast of Tokyo, in the Ibaraki Prefecture. It is currently owned by the company JCO.

The nuclear accident of the installation took place on September 30, 1999, in the conversion building of the nuclear plant.

The installation consists of three auxiliary uranium conversion buildings:

  • One with an annual capacity of 220 tons of uranium per year for low enrichment (approximately 5%).
  • Another with…

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Plutonium

Plutonium

Plutonium is a chemical element, usually of artificial origin, that is used as a nuclear fuel in the manufacture of nuclear weapons.

The symbol of this chemical element is Pu and its atomic number is 94. It is an element that belongs to the series of actinide elements. Plutonium has 16 isotopes, all of them radioactive. The element is a silver metal and has 5 different crystalline structures.

Chemically plutonium is a very active material. It can form compounds with all non-metallic elements, except noble gases. The metal dissolves in acids and reacts with…

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History of Nuclear Energy

History of Nuclear Energy

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.

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Beta Particle

Beta Particle

A beta particle (β) is an electron that shoots out of a radioactive event.

By the law of Fajans, if an atom emits a beta particle, its electric charge increases by a positive unit and the atomic mass number does not change. This is because the mass or mass number only represents the number of protons and neutrons, which in this case the total number is not affected, since a neutron "loses" an electron, but becomes a proton, ie , a neutron becomes a proton and therefore the total number of atomic mass (protons plus neutrons) does not vary.

The interaction of beta particles…

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Atomic theory

Atomic theory

In physics and chemistry, the atomic theory is a scientific theory of the nature of matter, which states that matter is composed of units called atoms. Atomic theory began as a philosophical concept in ancient Greece and entered the mainstream of the nineteenth century when discoveries in the field of chemistry showed that matter really behaves as if it were an atom.

The word atom originates in the atomic adjective of the ancient Greek, which means "indivisible". As explained in the history of nuclear energy. Nineteenth-century chemists began to use the term in relation to the growing…

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Nuclear Energy and the Environment

Nuclear Energy and the Environment

The main use of nuclear energy is the generation of electrical energy in nuclear power plants. If, however, you are also familiar with other uses in the civil field. One of them is the applications of nuclear energy related to the environment.

Although the popularity of nuclear energy is very low due to the effects produced in nuclear accidents such as Fukushima or Chernobyl, there are applications of nuclear energy to work in favor of the environment.

In these applications we highlight the following:

  • Improve the greenhouse effect problem
  • Improve…

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Chernobyl Nuclear Accident

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.

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Neutron

Neutron

A neutron is a subatomic particle that is part of the atom (along with the proton and the electron). Neutrons and protons form the atomic nucleus. Neutrons have no net electric charge, unlike the proton that has a positive electric charge.

The difference in the number of neutrons in the nucleus of an atom does not imply the variation of the nature of the atom itself, but it does determine the isotope to which it is a part.

In nuclear energy the concept "uranium enrichment" refers to the alteration of the number of neutrons in the atomic nucleus in order to obtain another…

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Antoine-Henri Becquerel

Antoine-Henri Becquerel

Antoine-Henri Becquerel studied at the Polytechnic School. In 1875 he entered the department of bridges and roads, and became chief engineer in 1894. In 1892 he succeeded his father in the chair of the Museum of Natural History, and in 1895 he became professor of the Polytechnic School.

He continued his father's studies, and the discovery of X-rays by Röntgen (1896) made Antoine-Henri Becquerel think that this new radiation could be related to fluorescence and phosphorescence.

Henri Becquerel He also studied the polarization and absorption of light in crystals.

Finally,…

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Nuclear Accident In Fukushima, Japan

Nuclear Accident In Fukushima, Japan

The Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear accident is a series of incidents, including four separate explosions, that took place at the Naraha nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, following the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11. 2011. The Fukushima nuclear facility was a nuclear power plant to convert nuclear energy into electrical energy.

The Fukushima nuclear disaster occurred on March 11, 2011. It is the most serious nuclear accident in history after the Chernobyl nuclear accident.

The accident was caused by an 8.9-degree earthquake near the northwest coast of…

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Scale INES - International Nuclear Event Scale

Scale INES - International Nuclear Event Scale

La escala INES es un instrumento para cuantificar la gravedad de un suceso nuclear y radiológico (ya sean accidentes o incidentes nucleares).

INES son las siglas en inglés de International Nuclear Events Scale (Escala Internacional de Sucesos Nucleares)

The INES scale is used throughout the world to communicate to the public systematic information about the importance of such nuclear and radiological events from the point of view of safety. In the same way that Richter scales are used to quantify the intensity of an earthquake or the Celsius scale…

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Nuclear Accidents

Nuclear Accidents

In nuclear energy, we refer to nuclear accident to those incidents that emit a certain level of radiation, which could harm public health.

Nuclear accidents are classified as nuclear accidents and incidents depending on the severity´s level. In this classification nuclear accidents and radioactive accidents are included. To understand the difference between these two types of accidents, a nuclear accident could be the failure of a reactor of a nuclear power plant and a radiation accident could be when pouring a radiation source to a river.

Despite the known nuclear…

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Mayak Nuclear Accident

Mayak Nuclear Accident

Mayak is one of the highest points of the planet with radioactive contamination. It is also conce as Mayak Production Association (Russian: Маяк производственное объединение ). These are the names by which a complex known nuclear facilities between the cities of Kaslo and Kyshtym in laprovincia Chelyabinsk, Russia.

The Mayak nuclear accident is little known because the Soviet authorities tried to hide for 30 years nuclear leaks have been occurring.

History of Mayak nuclear plant

The construction and launch of the atomic bomb on the Japanese…

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Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine is defined as the branch of medicine that uses radioactive isotopes, nuclear radiation, electromagnetic variations of the components of the atomic nucleus and related biophysical techniques for the prevention, diagnosis, therapy and medical research.

Clinical applications of radiopharmaceuticals cover virtually all medical specialties.

Nuclear medicine is closely related to several basic and applied sciences such as physics, chemistry, electronics, cybernetics and pharmacy, and other branches of medicine and physiology, pathophysiology, radiology and other diagnostic…

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Transport of radioactive substances

Transport of radioactive substances

The transport of radioactive substances generated by the different applications of nuclear energy is carried out according to the recommendations established by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), included in the legislation in force through the European Agreement on the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road.

The set of measures established has the objective of minimizing the probability of a nuclear accident occurring. In case of a nuclear accident the objective is to mitigate its effects, avoiding the dispersion of radioactive material and its possible assimilation by…

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Alpha Particle

Alpha Particle

Alpha particles or alpha rays are a form of radiation with high ionizing, corpuscular energy and with a low penetration capacity due to the high cross section. Alpha particles consist of two protons and two neutrons joined by a strong force. From a chemical point of view, alpha particles can also be identified with the symbol 4 He ++. Along with the 3 He isotope, the alpha particles belong to the elion family. The beta decay is mediated by a weak force, while the alpha decay is mediated by a strong force.

Definition of alpha particle

An alpha particle is a…

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Nuclear reactor coolant

Nuclear reactor coolant

A coolant in a nuclear reactor is a liquid or gaseous substance that passes through the reactor core and removes heat from the nuclear fission reaction.

In the double-circuit power reactors, the reactor coolant enters the steam generator, which produces steam that drives the turbines, and in the single-circuit reactors the coolant (steam or gas) can serve as the working fluid of the cycle of the turbine. In research (for example, materials science) and special reactors (for example, in reactors for the accumulation of radioactive isotopes) the coolant only cools the reactor, the…

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Electricity Generation

Electricity Generation

After the Second World War, the main use that was given to nuclear energy was the generation of electric power. Electricity, in this case, is generated in nuclear power plants.

Generation of electricity through nuclear energy

The process to obtain electricity through nuclear energy is the result of a thermodynamic and mechanical process.

A nuclear power plant has the objective of transforming the internal energy of the uranium atoms into electrical energy. This process is…

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Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy

Renewable energies are those energies that use an energy or fuel source that is considered inexhaustible or that can be regenerated at the same rate at which it is consumed.

Nuclear energy is not considered a renewable energy source since the fuel used, uranium is not limited. The consumption of nuclear fuel is higher than the generation of natural uranium.

The classification of renewable energies depends on the natural resources that are used. Among them we highlight:

  • Solar photovoltaic and thermal energy.
  • Wind power.
  • Hydraulic energy.
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