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 nuclear energy? Nuclear energy is the internal energy in the atomic nucleus, that is, the central part of an atom. Atoms are the smallest particles in which a material can be divided. The nucleus of an atom is composed of two subparticles: neutrons and protons. These subparticles are held together due to energy links. At the moment in which these bonds are modified, a large amount of thermal energy is released in the form of heat.
Nuclear technology deals with the use of this internal energy for a wide variety of applications. The most well-known…
Nuclear fission is the physical-chemical reaction through which the nucleus of an atom is split. In the main interest of the fission reactions is that by this operation a large amount of energy is obtained. Nuclear energy is the energy contained in the nucleus of an atom and the energy that is obtained is thermal energy, energy in the form of heat.
The other form of exploitation is through nuclear fusion reactions. In this case, the process is inverse, fusing two different nuclei forming a single atomic nucleus.
After the fission of the atomic nucleus we obtain…
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…
Nuclear reactors can be classified according to different criteria. One of the criteria is the purpose for which they will be used. In this regard we distinguish the types of nuclear reactors used for civilian purposes, for military purposes or for research purposes.
Civil nuclear reactors use nuclear energy to generate power for electricity; military reactors create materials that can be used in nuclear weapons such as the atomic bomb; and research nuclear reactors used to develop weapons or energy production technology, for development purposes, for nuclear physics…
Atomic energy comes from the atom, it is the energy that holds together neutrons and protons of the nuclei of atoms. It is also known how nuclear energy, which comes from the nucleus. The name nuclear energy is used because most of the energy of an atom resides in its nucleus.
Two parts of the atom, the nucleus and the crust are differentiated. In the cortex, an indeterminate number of electrons orbit around the nucleus. The nucleus is composed of an indeterminate number of neutrons and protons. The amount of protons in the nucleus will determine the element that the atom is treated,…
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
The atom is a structure in which matter is organized in the physical world or in nature. The atoms form the molecules, while the atoms in turn are formed by subatomic constituents such as protons (with positive charge), neutrons (without charge) and electrons. (with negative charge).
In a graphical way, what is an atom? Let's imagine that we have a piece of iron. We split it. We still have two pieces of iron but smaller ones. We will start them again, again ... Each time we will have more smaller pieces until a moment will come, in which if we go back to…
In this section we analyze the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear energy. Nevertheless, most organizations related to nuclear energy are already positioned for or against the use of nuclear energy. 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.
The advantages and disadvantages of nuclear energy have made this alternative energy source one of the most controversial on the market today. Understanding the pros and cons of this energy source can help…
Chemical energy is the potential of a chemical substance to undergo a transformation through a chemical reaction or to transform itself into other chemical substances. 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.
Since the strength of…
The moderator is a component that is part of nuclear reactors. It is located in the reactor core. The function of the moderator is to reduce the speed of neutrons in nuclear fission reactions.
During fission nuclear reactions, neutrons collide with fissile atoms (uranium and plutonium) present in the nuclear fuel causing fission. With each fission reaction, one or two neutrons are released at high speed.
The objective to maintain a chain fission reaction is that these neutrons hit other fissile atoms but at such a speed it is very difficult. The objective of…
At the moment of analyzing the disadvantages of nuclear energy in the first place, it is necessary to consider the different areas in which nuclear energy is used. The main use of nuclear energy is the generation of electricity. Although electricity production is the most controversial nuclear application, nuclear technology is also used in the military, medical or environmental fields, among others.
One of the advantages of nuclear energy is that it reduces the dependence on thermal power plants and, therefore, the consumption of fossil fuels. However,…
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…
The basis of everything related to nuclear energy lies in the atom, since nuclear technology is based on the use of the internal energy contained in atoms. For this reason, to understand how nuclear reactions occur (nuclear fission or nuclear fusion) it is useful to understand how an atom is structured.
An atom is the smallest constituent unit of ordinary matter that has the properties of a chemical element.
The atom is composed of a nucleus and one or more electrons linked to the nucleus. The nucleus is made of one or more protons and, typically, a similar number of…
Nuclear energy is the energy contained in the nucleus of atoms. Nuclear energy is used in multiple applications (see applications of nuclear energy), but the best known application is the generation of electricity.
The term nuclear energy is often used to refer to the electrical energy generated by nuclear power plants.
One of the ways of harnessing…
A nuclear reactor is a facility capable of initiating, controlling and maintaining nuclear reactions (usually nuclear fission) in chain that occur in the core of this installation.
The composition of the nuclear reactor is formed by the nuclear fuel, the refrigerant, the control elements, the structural materials and, in the case of a nuclear reactor, the nuclear moderator.
To build a nuclear reactor it is necessary to have enough nuclear fuel, which we call critical mass. Having enough critical mass means having enough fissile…
The main use of nuclear energy is the production of electrical energy. Nuclear power plants are responsible for generating electricity. Nuclear fission reactions are generated in the nuclear reactors of the nuclear power plants. With these reactions, thermal energy is obtained that will be transformed into mechanical energy and later into electrical energy.
However, there are many other uses in which nuclear energy is used directly or indirectly.
Working with different isotopes of the same element, you can use nuclear technology for other uses in various fields:…