Nuclear Energy

Nuclear energy covers technology of reactors, different types of reactors, their history and development, exploitation in different countries, operating experiences, problems of nuclear waste.

15,942 Questions
Nuclear Energy

Is any type of electromagnetic energy dangerous?

Yes:

  • microwaves can cook you without you even noticing heat
  • IR radiation can cause burns
  • UV radiation can cause sunburns and skin cancer
  • X-rays can cause radiation sickness, cancers, anemia, and death
  • gamma rays can cause radiation sickness, cancers, anemia, and death

No:

  • microwaves can cook your food quicker and more efficiently than the stove
  • IR radiation from the Sun can keep you warm
  • UV radiation creates Vitamin D and can help sterilize things
  • X-rays can help doctors diagnose injury and illness
  • gamma rays can aid doctors with diagnostic imaging and detect smuggled items
  • electricity is of great value to our economy

Its all a matter of degree and proper management.

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Environmental Issues
Waste and Recycling
Nuclear Energy

Why not dispose of nuclear waste on the moon?

There are two major problems with this. The first takes the pragmatic view of this option and the other aesthetic.

Even in 2010, a jump to the moon is nothing to trifle at. It still takes time, it still takes resources, and more importantly, it still costs money (and a lot of it). But that's not even taking into account the waste you would have to transport. Nuclear waste is going to be heavy, meaning you need a bigger rocket, more rocket fuel, and more money. For these reasons, disposing of nuclear waste on the moon would be astronomically expensive and completely impractical.

Additionally, we have polluted the Earth quite effectively. Do you really want to extend that to the Moon? It may be a hunk of rock devoid of life, but it is currently devoid of pollution as well. I don't like the thought of polluting the Earth, much less the extension of pollution outside of Earth.

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Chemistry
Nuclear Energy

Thermonuclear fusion occurs mainly in the?

Stars

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Nuclear Energy
Heavy Water

What are the function of heavy water reactor?

This is the CANDU reactor, developed in Canada. They have been successful and produce a large amount of power in Canada and other countries where they have been built.

CANDU stands for CANadian DeUterium. The heavy water (D2O) is a better moderator than ordinary (light) water, and allows a reactor to be built that runs on unenriched uranium (u-238) as opposed to slightly enriched uranium (u-235, about 4%). The heavy water slows the fast neutrons down more, allowing better absorbtion, and the subsequent use of u-238.

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Nuclear Energy
Science Experiments
Energy Conservation

What is the synonyme of nuclear fissure?

You mean nuclear fission I think

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Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Physics
Nuclear Fusion

What are the requirements for nuclear fusion?

  • high temperature
  • high pressure
  • a fuel that can undergo fusion
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Physics
Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Physics
Nuclear Fusion

Can nuclear fusion be done on earth?

Yes.

Examples: The hydrogen bomb and the creation of new elements.

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Nuclear Energy

Why is nuclear energy not widely used?

Nuclear energy is a very expensive proposition. The costs associated with designing and building a nuclear plant are monumental. Additionally, the operating risks have been exposed at different places and at different times. (Chernobyl is the best worst case example.) Another issue is that nuclear materials can be stolen or otherwise "redirected" to make weapons, or very "dirty" conventional weapons. (In a conventional application, a chemical bomb is used to disperse radioactive materials over a populated area.)

Given these variables, not all countries or powers want to get involved in the nuclear energy business. Though new plants could be built, there aren't many on the drawing board. Costs, difficulties in construction, and hazards associated with operating accidents dissuade most parties that might participate.

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Nuclear Energy
Chemical Energy
Energy Conservation

Is there proof that antimatter exist?

yes, positrons were discovered in experiments in the 1930s just like theory had predicted. many other anti-particles have been discovered since.

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Nuclear Energy

Why do we need nuclear energy?

It's not essential, but it makes a useful contribution to energy demand, and for countries like France which have little fossil fuels on their own territory, it is more desirable than for countries such as the US which had plenty of coal, oil, and gas. More recently with emphasis on limiting emissions from burning fossil fuels it has an added attraction in that respect.

Another Answer:

It is essential, as the proliferation of fossil fuel power plants is contributing to the greenhouse effect that is compromising the future of the Earth. Also, fossil fuels are limited and we will run out in the not too distant future. Look at the price of oil (and gas) and you will see that dependency on oil is a problem.

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Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Reactors

How big is the world's smallest nuclear reactor?

Bilibino Nuclear power plant in the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia, houses the world's smallest commercial nuclear reactor. It is equipped with four EGP-6 light water graphite reactors (LWGR) with gross power capacity of 12MWe each.

Here the world's 10 smallest commercial nuclear reactors, either in operation or under construction.

It depends on critical mass. For uranium-235, at normal density, at 100% enrichment, a perfect sphere would be critical mass at about 52 kg, or about 17 cm diameter. For plutonium-239, it would be about 10 kg, or about 9.9 cm diameter.

Problem is, that if you are right at critical mass, then the first event would take the reactor subcritical, because that first event would consume fuel, reducing mass, and reducing criticality. Its an interesting problem, and I can't get any more detailed than that, because information beyond this is classified, and I don't have access to it.

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Nuclear Energy

How does a nuclear power plant work in a short answer?

Heat from a controlled nuclear reaction heats water into steam. The steam turns a turbine, which is attached to a generator. The generator then makes electricity.

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Science
History of Science
Nuclear Energy

Who discovered nuclear science?

Henri Becquerel in 1896

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Nuclear Energy

What property of the fission reaction leads to the possibility of a chain reaction?

The fact that when a fission occurs, more than one neutron is released. Thus by careful design, one of these second generation neutrons can be captured by a further nucleus causing another fission, and so on.

Up to about 2.5 neutrons per fission can be utilized. In a bomb, all of them are used, and the reactivity (approximately) doubles with each reaction. In a controlled reaction, such as in a reactor, the moderator and geometry are such that one neutron per fission goes on to create another fission, yielding a stable reactivity.

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Nuclear Energy

What type of nuclear reaction is used in commercial power generation?

fission

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Physics
Nuclear Energy

A chain reaction results when a uranium atom is struck by?

By a neutron.

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Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Physics

Should nuclear power be banned?

No. Nuclear power should be encouraged. However, there have to be limits and controls because it is not appropriate for nuclear proliferation to continue.

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Physics
Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Fission

Is most of the energy released by nuclear fission is in the form of gamma rays?

no

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Nuclear Energy
Physics

What energy comes with lightning?

Electrical energy that turns into light and heat.

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Physics
Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Physics

What is the mass number of reactants of fission and fusion?

Well, provided with enough energy, any atom can be a "reactant" of fission and fusion. We're usually concerned about atoms producing exothermic reactions though, which for fission are heavy (mass numbers around 90 and greater), and for fusion are light (mass numbers around 25 and lower).

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Nuclear Energy

What is the source of the radioactive nuclei present in spent fuel rods?

The nuclear fission process produces a range of lighter elements as fission products, and many of these are radioactive.

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Nuclear Energy

What is a IP-2 nuclear shipping container?

This nomenclature is used in transport of radioactive material, and was developed under IAEA auspices, as clearly all countries should use at least the same minimum standards. IP just means Industrial Package. The basic requirements for IP-2 qualification are that the contents shall not leak, and the shielding shall not be damaged allowing extra radiation from the contents, during normal transport and some accident conditions such as a defined drop.

If you want to get into details you will find some relevant websites on the internet.

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Environmental Issues
Nuclear Energy
Renewable Energy

Is nuclear energy renewable or non-renewable?

b

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Nuclear Energy
Periodic Table
Tritium

How does tritium get stored?

There are several ways to store tritium.

It can be stored as a gas for short term storage (as in nuclear weapons -- the gas in the tritium reservoir needs to be replenished periodically; or tritium illumination for watches or survival gear -- these wear out and go dim over time.).

For longer term and final storage, a hydride storage vessel using a uranium metal bed, or better yet, a titanium sponge can be used. Most of the gas can be recovered from these systems by desorption under vacuum. To remove the rest, isotopic exchange is required.

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Physics
Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Fusion

Why does nuclear fusion have to take place at high temperature?

I believe it has something to do with stability, But as per new information, It doesn't necesarliy have to happen at high temperatures anymore. The NIF Facility in Livermore in California has recently sucessfully performed COLD Fusion, which is Fusion without the Super-High, Metal Melting temperatures. It is MUCH MUCH lower. So yeah. EA Game's Generals' USA faction's Cold Fusion Reactor is now a possibilty.

Note that the claims of low-temperature "Cold" fusion are as yet still unsubstantiated. Those claiming such advances are suspiciously secretive of their work; so much so, that they have the appearances of charlatans.

NIF is working not on "Cold" fusion (which is the premise that fusion can happen at relatively low temperature and pressure, no more than found inside a typical Internal Compustion Engine), but is instead experimenting with laser-compression fusion. LCF is a process where a small pellet of hydrogen is hit with several lasers for a very brief instant, compressing the hydrogen radically, to allow for fusion. In an LCF reactor, the hydrogen fuel is compressed to several thousand atmospheres by this laser, though the reactor itself isn't pressurized in the conventional sense.

Based on our current understanding of fusion, high temperature OR high pressure are required to overcome the natural repulsion of hydrogen nuclei. That is, to be able to push two hydrogen nuclei together, either enormous pressure is required, or extreme temperatures which change the matter composition and characteristics of hydrogen. No scientific basis for low-temperature or low-pressure fusion has ever been published or publicly demonstrated.

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