Nuclear Power Plant Isar, Germany

Spent nuclear fuel pool

Turbine of a nuclear plant

Tag: reactions

Nuclear fusion

Nuclear fusion

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…

What is a nuclear power plant?

What is a nuclear power plant?

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…

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…

Control rods definition

Control rods definition

The control rods of nuclear reactors provide speed control nuclear fission reactions delas chain. It is cylindrical tubes made of a neutron absorbing material. This material may be boron carbide or alloys of silver, indium and cadmium.

Dimensions of the control rods are the same as those of the rods of nuclear fuel. They are used to provide a rapid means of control of the nuclear reaction.

The control rods to regulate the rate of nuclear reaction

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…

Chemical energy

Chemical energy

Chemical energy is the potential of a chemical to undergo a transformation through a chemical reaction or to transform into other chemicals. Forming or breaking chemical bonds involves energy. This energy can be absorbed or evolved from a chemical system.

The energy that can be released (or absorbed) by a reaction between a set of chemical substances is equal to the difference between the amount of energy of the products and the reactants. This change in energy is called the internal energy of a chemical reaction.

The internal energy change of a process is equal to the change…

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…

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.…

Differences between nuclear fusion meltdown

In a nuclear accident and the accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, usually speaks often of the risk of core melt.

Do not confuse the meltdown of a nuclear reactor with nuclear fusion.

Nuclear fusion is the process in which two atoms are joined to form one single pass. This releases a lot of energy that could be harnessed to generate electricity. Unfortunately, these reactions can not be controlled well and much less to create nuclear power to produce electricity.

Nuclear plants currently use nuclear fission reactions, which is based precisely on the basis atom…