What is Nuclear energy: Definition and 55 Discussions

Nuclear energy policy is a national and international policy concerning some or all aspects of nuclear energy and the nuclear fuel cycle, such as uranium mining, ore concentration, conversion, enrichment for nuclear fuel, generating electricity by nuclear power, storing and reprocessing spent nuclear fuel, and disposal of radioactive waste.
Nuclear energy policies often include the regulation of energy use and standards relating to the nuclear fuel cycle. Other measures include efficiency standards, safety regulations, emission standards, fiscal policies, and legislation on energy trading, transport of nuclear waste and contaminated materials, and their storage. Governments might subsidize nuclear energy and arrange international treaties and trade agreements about the import and export of nuclear technology, electricity, nuclear waste, and uranium.
Since about 2001 the term nuclear renaissance has been used to refer to a possible nuclear power industry revival, but nuclear electricity generation in 2012 was at its lowest level since 1999.Following the March 2011 Fukushima I nuclear accidents, China, Germany, Switzerland, Israel, Malaysia, Thailand, United Kingdom, and the Philippines are reviewing their nuclear power programs. Indonesia and Vietnam still plan to build nuclear power plants. Thirty-one countries operate nuclear power stations, and there are a considerable number of new reactors being built in China, South Korea, India, and Russia. As of June 2011, countries such as Australia, Austria, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Israel, Malaysia, and Norway have no nuclear power stations and remain opposed to nuclear power.Since nuclear energy and nuclear weapons technologies are closely related, military aspirations can act as a factor in energy policy decisions. The fear of nuclear proliferation influences some international nuclear energy policies.

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  1. D

    Have pulsed fission reactors got any potential in nuclear energy?

    How did you find PF?: Searched for some forum about mechanical engineering in Google Do pulsed nuclear fission reactors have any chances to be used in nuclear power? If the answer is "no" is that just because of no need in pulsed operation mode while having a common one, are there any more...
  2. O

    What actually happens to the U-238 part of fuel in a nuclear reactor?

    So I'm aware that uranium 235 is the fissile isotope which is used in fuel for most reactors (about 3% of all uranium fuel for example), but what actually happens to the other 97% of the U-238 if it doesn't undergo fission? I get some of it absorbs neutrons making it U-239? But I've also seen...
  3. V

    Mass-energy conservation in nuclear reactions

    I found the total mass of the reactants and the products, found the change in mass, used E=mc^2 and changed my answer from Joules to eV, but my answer is wrong. I'm guessing I have to do something with the energy of the alpha-particle given in the question The answer is supposed to be: 6.58 MeV
  4. Astronuc

    Modeling and Simulation in Nuclear Energy

    Modeling and simulation, or computational physics/chemistry, is a large and important part of engineering. In nuclear energy, there are applications of finite element methods (and occasionally finite different or finite volume depending on the problem) applied to nuclear plants, nuclear...
  5. DTMsurf

    Nuclear Energy reading material

    Summary: I am looking for suggestions on an informative read surrounding nuclear energy I am a junior year physics student at UCSB looking to go to grad school for nuclear physics and eventually work with nuclear energy. My curriculum at UCSB does not offer any explicit classes surrounding...
  6. TechmoUnity

    B Assistance finding the nuclear energy difference during nuclear fusion

    Hello! I have finished high school quite a few years ago. I did a physics course that went over nuclear fusion and fission, and I quite enjoyed it. However, I unfortunately no longer have those textbooks (I sold them on as many people do). Now I am doing a bit of programming in the field of...
  7. A

    Size Limitation of fuel Bundle in a nuclear reactor

    What is the limitation of length of a fuel bundle in a nuclear reactor. Can we increase the length of bundle consequently reducing the number of bundles in a fuel channel?
  8. S

    B Iron, Nuclear Stability and Nuclear Energy

    Iron (Fe-56) is in terms of nuclear energy spent, which seems equivalent to saying its nuclides are the most tightly-bound. Does this also make Fe-56 the most stable nucleus, and is nuclear potential energy to stability a general correlation? Do more-stable nuclei generally have less nuclear...
  9. R

    The binding energy per nucleon of tritium

    Hi, I know from conservation of energy that ##E_i = E_f## Thus, ## M_h c^2 + binding energy = M_{he}c^2+ M_e c^2 + K = M_{he}c^2 + 0.5 MeV + 0.0186 MeV## If I'm right I have to find ##M_{he}c^2##, but something is missing in my understanding, since I don't see how to find that mass energy...
  10. A

    Nuclear Energy discussion thread

    I am a student at high school who just finished a paper about nuclear energy and I really learned a lot from it. I found the topic interesting and really enjoyed learning about it. I now am searching out more people who know about it and as much information as I can fins while having good...
  11. BWV

    Billionaire invested in a fringe nuclear energy startup gone wrong

    Brad Pitt, Steve Jobs' widow, and Britain's best-known fund manager reportedly invested in a fringe nuclear energy startup inexplicably valued at close to $1 billion. The Financial Times reported that the unlikely trio apparently saw potential in Industrial Heat, a North Carolina-based company...
  12. J

    I Mass for solving the nuclear energy level

    Hi all, I'm trying to solve a problem of finite square well for the ##s## states graphically. The task is to find energy levels and wavefunctions of proton in a spherically symmetric potential, first for deuteron then ##^{48}Ca##. What makes me confused is the mass. For deuteron, the mass used...
  13. M

    I Energy Levels: Why Do Spacings Get Smaller as Excitation Increases?

    Hi All. For the above energy level diagram, why do the energy levels spacings proceed to get smaller and smaller as the excitation energy increases?
  14. R

    Is the Hohlraum the Key to Fusion Energy?

    The Threshold to Fusion Energy I'd like to start some conversation on Hohlraum design, particularly on the opportunity to construct a fullerene capsule as the ignition chamber for indirect-drive fusion. Given more than two decades of evolution in hohlraum configuration* there are many...
  15. ImMaybeBrian

    B Potential Impacts of Helium-3 Mining on the Moon and Human Health

    There's been talk about extracting Helium-3 from the Moon as a source of nuclear fusion energy because of it's efficiency and nonradioactive-ness--but I haven't seen anyone talk about any kind of side effects it could have either on the Moon itself, to people, etc. I understand because of it's...
  16. Gleaner

    Educating the general public about pro nuclear energy?

    Pardon my ignorance, but why would nuclear energy be better option, I hear a lot of fears from the general public of why it is not safe? How would someone convince someones fear about the safety of nuclear power, considering what happened in Japan? cheers,
  17. D

    A How to calculate the threshold energy of (n,n') reactions?

    Let us take the example of 89Y(n,n')89mY reaction. In the calculation of Q value we require mass of reactants and products. Both are same here. Then how to calculate the Q value of this reaction or how to calculate the threshold energy of this type of reactions?
  18. Toreno

    I Is nuclear fusion induced by gamma photons possible?

    Hi folks, IMO, it should be possible to initiate a nuclear fusion of H1-H2 and H2-H2 in crystals of Lithium Hydride induced by gamma photons emitted form decay of Na24. Could anyone please verify if the following is correct? By using nuclear photodisintegration effect, we need a gamma photon...
  19. Evanish

    Question about becquerel of nuclear waste over time

    This is a question about average light water reactors. I was wondering when the total becquerels of a spent fuel rod would equal the becquerels of that same fuel rod before it was used.
  20. E

    Exploring Challenging Questions in Grade 11 Nuclear Physics Curriculum

    Hey guys, wasn't too sure where I should post this but here goes: Im currently taking a grade 11 introductory physics course in Ontario, Canada. We are currently learning the basics of nuclear physics. For most units, I'm able to foresee the thinking (hard) questions our teachers usually point...
  21. T

    Nuclear energy in USA: why only 19%

    Fukushima disaster aside, the USA has only 19% of its energy needs from nuclear plants: see here. Being a free energy, I wonder whether there are reasons, other than safety concerns, that prevents the US from depending more on nuclear energy?
  22. L

    How much energy is released when 1 kg of uranium 235 is fissioned?

    Homework Statement In a nuclear reactor, each atom of uranium (235 amu) releases about 200 MeV when it fissions. What is the change in mass when 1.0 kg of uranium 235 is fissioned?Homework Equations E = mc2 The Attempt at a Solution I found the energy released per kg based on the numbers...
  23. E

    Nuclear energy academia or industry

    If one wanted to work with/research nuclear energy would one go to academia or industry. And if industry, can you name the company? Thank you
  24. I

    Programs What to major in when looking to work with nuclear energy

    I'm currently a junior in high-school and am looking to narrow down my options for colleges by major. I want to work with nuclear energy as a career and am conflicted as to what majors or academic path I should take. I specifically want to work with fusion on things such as the ITER Project and...
  25. T

    Nuclear energy: for or against?

    What are your thoughts on nuclear energy ? Are you for it or against? In my opinion the only cons are that fact that they cost large amounts to build/maintain, as well as they develop radioactive waste. But the waste can be dealt with, thing plants can power entire cities while a regular...
  26. D

    Archived Estimate nuclear energy generation rate (formula given) per unit MASS MASS?

    Homework Statement Consider energy generation in the Sun. Fusion through the pp cycle takes place within its core which has r = 0.2 Rs T = 1.3 x 10 ^ 7 K rho (density) = 1.1 x 10 ^ 5 kg m^-3 X (total mass fraction of hydrogen) = 0.34 The nuclear energy generation rate for the pp...
  27. J

    Potential energy in nuclear energy

    Where does the potential energy go if you carry uranium to a nuclear power plant on the top of a mountain and part of its mass becomes energy?
  28. C

    Questions about nuclear energy and nuclear waste.

    Hello, new here. I'm not sure if I've placed this in the appropriate section, but here it goes. I have a few questions. 1) I know that when spent fuel rods come out of a reactor they are extremely hot and if not cooled, can meltdown. How long do they need to be cooled before they are...
  29. G

    More efficient nuclear energy?

    Isn't there any better/more efficient methods of generating electricity from fission/fusion than basically using the heat to boil water to spin a turbine? I know that that there are different generations of nuclear reactor designs (with each more efficient than the last) that get better and...
  30. K

    News Britain aims to lead on nuclear energy

    What do you think? http://www.aftenbladet.no/energi/aenergy/Britain-aims-to-lead-on-nuclear-energy-2989235.html
  31. K

    Factoring Fuel generation is nuclear energy still a viable solution

    Hi all I saw the posting below in regards to nuclear not being all that its cracked up to be. This is from a scientist in europe. I am intersted in rebuttals. I am pro nuke and just entering the industry but I do not have the experience to shoot this down. Fishing for comments Post...
  32. D

    Nuclear energy release question

    A proton and neutron "at rest" may stick to each other forming a deuterium and releasing some 2.2 MeV energy but what if they are streamed to each other at 2 GeV? what will be the output of energy? Do we get more kinetic energy in the form of photons?
  33. S

    QCD and nuclear energy research

    Is QCD/modern university nuclear physics a worthwhile topic for someone aspiring to work with nuclear energy, reactor safety and the like? That person is me and I am interested in the answer as it pertains to a physics Ph.D. rather than a degree in nuclear engineering or something. Thanks!
  34. D

    Nuclear energy in militay submarines

    How does 4KG of uranium last powering for over 20years in the uss Pennsylvania? The documentary i watched made it sound like it was the same 4kg of material being used over that long period. But in power plants don't they go through a lot of fuel? thanks.
  35. H

    Is nuclear energy a viable solution for our energy problems?

    I thought some of you might be interested in seeing the latest discussion on nuclear power from TED. It is titled "Does the world need nuclear energy?" (linked below). http://www.ted.com/talks/debate_does_the_world_need_nuclear_energy.html Personally, as a nuclear engineering in training...
  36. N

    Unraveling the Mysteries of Uranium: Nuclear Energy Explained

    Hi there, first time poster. I'm trying to settle a dispute which is kind of stupid... Now I realize this question might seem dumb but I was wondering why exactly we use Uranium (Uranium-235 to be more exact) in Nuclear power plants? From what I understand, in very basic terms, nuclear...
  37. L

    Industrial Uses for Nuclear Energy?

    Homework Statement I can't figure out any Industrial Uses for Nuclear Energy... Homework Equations N/A The Attempt at a Solution I know that domestic uses would be that it creates Electricity for our homes..but what are the industrial uses?
  38. T

    How is nuclear energy harnessed?

    I understand how it is that nuclear processes release energy during fusion reactions, but i don't know how that energy is used to create positive work. I know radiation is produced as well as heat, but what techniques are used to convert these to usable and storable(not a word, i know) forms of...
  39. W

    Calculating Energy Released: TNT vs. U-235 | Nuclear Energy Homework

    Homework Statement Nuclear energy changes are significantly greater than chemical changes. The detonation of 1.00 g of the explosive trinitrotoluene (TNT) releases 2.760 kJ. How many grams of TNT would be needed to match the energy released be one gram of U-235? (HINT: 1.00 g of U-235 contains...
  40. J

    Nuclear Energy at Sea: Crew Precautions & Reactor Core Protection

    On nuclear powered aircraft carriers/submarines/icebreakers, do the crew have to follow similar precautions as people who work in nuclear power plants such as clothing, film badges etc? Also, how much more protection does the reactor core have compared to a civilian power plant?
  41. C

    Should we use nuclear energy yes or no?

    I was just wondering, should we use nuclear energy yes or no? Please state your reasoning. I have read that in Europe many of the countries use nuclear energy as their main source of power, so why don't we?
  42. T

    Is Pu-238 a Viable Alternative to Pu-239 for Nuclear Energy?

    I know what fission is and what fusion is. Who needs em? I figure that most of the energy content of particles emitting from naturally radioactive materials is lost to distant locales. Am I right? If you took a sizable chunk of radioactive mineral, like uranium, whether refined or not, whether...
  43. H

    News Feasibility of Nuclear Energy with Recycling (Pu) as Energy Solution in US

    Sorry, I meant 35% by 1973, about three years after our production peaked. 2/3 is an accurate figure for the United States now. About nuclear power, 10 years ago, when oil wasn't so costly, scare tactics kept us away from nuclear power. I mean we really lack common sense. The United States...
  44. M

    What is the potential nuclear energy in a human body?

    Here is a newbie, goofball question. How much potential nuclear or atomic energy is there in the human body? I know a little about the energy released in a nuclear bomb. I know that this is not applicable to the human body. But if, one were able to release the "nuclear binding energy" in each...
  45. E

    Nuclear energy hot topic once again $7 billlion seriously?

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070701/ap_on_sc/rethinking_nukes There is also fervent anti-nuke opposition waiting to be re-stoked. Jim Riccio of Greenpeace said nuclear advocates are exploiting global warming fears to try to revive an industry that's too risky to fool with. "You have...
  46. Astronuc

    Prospects for Nuclear Energy - International

    There is already a thread on the Prospects of Nuclear Energy in the US, so I thought I would add one on the international scene. IAEA maintains a policy board - http://www.iaea.org/OurWork/ST/NE/index.html There is an annual publication "Nuclear Technology Review". The 2006 edition is...
  47. Andrew Mason

    The Economics of Nuclear Energy

    I am interested in comparing the cost of nuclear energy with the costs of fossil fuel and renewable fuels for electric power generation. The figures I have for fuel consumption are: 1. a 1000 mW conventional LWR nuclear plant consumes 25 Tonnes of fuel (lightly enriched uranium) a year or...
  48. motai

    NRDC's position on Nuclear Energy

    Today I went to see a presentation by a speaker from the National Resources Defence Council on global warming, and they mentioned renewable energy but neglected talking at all about nuclear energy. This was somewhat foreign to me until I asked the speaker about it and he (basically played down...
  49. S

    Synthesis of Pu239: Understanding the Nuclear Reaction from U238 to Fuel

    Synthesis of Pu239 from Uranium 238. as far as i know, this process occurs in a breeder reactor and surplus of neutrons are used to convert U238 to Pu 239 as useful fuel, since U238 is not fissionable. could anyone enlighten me with a nuclear equation for this process? thanks :)
  50. W

    News Should nuclear energy be phased out?

    The last thread on this topic was shut down because it was unfair because there weren't enough choices, and there was too much editorializing in the OP. So we'll keep it simple this time. Should nuclear energy be phased out? Yes No Maybe . . . Don't know Couldn't care less