nuclear Definition and Topics - 158 Discussions

Nuclear power is the use of nuclear reactions to produce electricity. Nuclear power can be obtained from nuclear fission, nuclear decay and nuclear fusion reactions. Presently, the vast majority of electricity from nuclear power is produced by nuclear fission of uranium and plutonium in nuclear power plants. Nuclear decay processes are used in niche applications such as radioisotope thermoelectric generators in some space probes such as Voyager 2. Generating electricity from fusion power remains the focus of international research.
Civilian nuclear power supplied 2,586 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity in 2019, equivalent to about 10% of global electricity generation, and was the second-largest low-carbon power source after hydroelectricity. As of January 2021, there are 442 civilian fission reactors in the world, with a combined electrical capacity of 392 gigawatt (GW). There are also 53 nuclear power reactors under construction and 98 reactors planned, with a combined capacity of 60 GW and 103 GW, respectively. The United States has the largest fleet of nuclear reactors, generating over 800 TWh zero-emissions electricity per year with an average capacity factor of 92%. Most reactors under construction are generation III reactors in Asia.
Nuclear power has one of the lowest levels of fatalities per unit of energy generated compared to other energy sources. Coal, petroleum, natural gas and hydroelectricity each have caused more fatalities per unit of energy due to air pollution and accidents. Since its commercialization in the 1970s, nuclear power has prevented about 1.84 million air pollution-related deaths and the emission of about 64 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent that would have otherwise resulted from the burning of fossil fuels.
Accidents in nuclear power plants include the Chernobyl disaster in the Soviet Union in 1986, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011, and the more contained Three Mile Island accident in the United States in 1979.
There is a debate about nuclear power. Proponents, such as the World Nuclear Association and Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy, contend that nuclear power is a safe, sustainable energy source that reduces carbon emissions. Nuclear power opponents, such as Greenpeace and NIRS, contend that nuclear power poses many threats to people and the environment.

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  1. T

    Understanding the determination of Radon activity

    When we want to determine the radioactivity of a nucleus, we usually determine the counts detected using say a Geiger counter. The count rate is then usually used as the disintegration rate i.e. the activity of the nucleus. However, say now we wish to measure the activity of Radon 222 using...
  2. Admiralibr123

    I Algorithmic model for primary decay chains

    I have seen "radioactivedecay.py" python library which employs measured experimental data for its calculations. I have seen models that solve the system of differential equation with numerical algorithms to predict the proportion of nuclides at any given time. But I have yet to see a...
  3. C

    Neutron beam detection rate

    Finding the neutrons per second. Uncluttering the question: ##P = 6 \times 10^{7} J/s, E_{1} = 149.7 MeV/event, A = 10^{-4} m^{2}, R = 5 m ##. Number of events per second = ##\frac{P}{E_{1}}## = escaping neutrons per second Area of ##5m## sphere around reactor = ## 4 \pi R^{2} ## Fraction of...
  4. Adams2020

    What is the recoil energy of a nucleus produced in its first energy level?

    Table: To solve, using the conservation of energy: E0=(m(deutron)+m(16O)-m(17O)-m(p))c^2 so: E0=(2.014+15.994-16.999-1.008)931.5=0.93 MeV. so using the conservation of energy: 14.95+0.93=16.62+0+E' E'=- 0.74 MeV But the energy sign has become negative. I also calculated for the first excited...
  5. Adams2020

    I The surface area of an oblate ellipsoid

    In "An Introduction to Nuclear Physics by W. N. Cottingham, D. A. Greenwood" for the surface area of an oblate ellipsoid, the following equation is written for small values of ε : The book has said this without proof. I found the following formula for the desired shape: No matter how hard I...
  6. Admiralibr123

    I Looking for Experimental Data on Isotopes (Nuclear Physics and Engineering)

    So, a website in which I just enter an element or an Isotope and it just lists all the relevant experimental data like mass, mass-defect binding energy etc. Also resources for the absorption data, resources to explore Monte-Carlo simulations, and other calculation tools would be awesome. Just a...
  7. Robert DeVries

    Trouble with fluid thermodynamics and nuclear thermal rockets

    Summary:: In need of help determining the exhaust velocity of a rocket nozzle given temperature and propellant molar mass Greetings and salutations! My name is Robert DeVries, world builder extraordinaire. I have come with questions in search of answers. So for the last few days I've been...
  8. C

    I Can a fusion reaction propagate in a cappilary?

    Can fusion reaction propagate inside a (very thick walled) cappilary if fusion has been initiated at one end? In this situation it seems like all the energy would have nowhere to go but into heating and pressurizing the fuel, providing conditions for further reaction. I imagine this is a...
  9. K

    Python Visual Python Pendulum

    Hello and thanks in advance for your help. For about a week now, I've been trying to write what should be a simple python program. The idea is first to write a program for a simple harmonic pendulum, then adapt it to a spring pendulum. However, in order to do this, I have to write the simple...
  10. DennisN

    News Atomic Veterans talk after 50 Years (video)

    This is one of the most powerful and incredible short movies I have ever seen. (I got the link to it from a friend today.) It contains clips of interviews of American soldiers who were exposed to real nuclear detonations. What they have to say is terrifying, intense and important. That's all I...
  11. C

    Could beta(-) emitters be used to build a compact light-space-drive?

    One of the main issues to send orbiters to (light years) faraway locations is the propulsion problem. Conventional chemical fuels cannot provide enough energy by weight to produce that much thrust. Nuclear fission provides a lot of energy by weight, but usually radiation energy doe not produce...
  12. D

    241Cm alpha decay to 237Pu

    I understand that In general, the branching ratio for a particular decay mode is defined as the ratio of the number of atoms decaying by that decay mode to the number decaying in total. But I can’t get this specific branching ratio.
  13. R

    A Re-exciting organic scintillator

    I've attached an image from the book "nuclear physics" by John Lilley. It says "in only one case is the restulting photon energy sufficient to cause re-excitation". My question is what is this one case? I recall my lecturer saying only decay to S01 is sufficient to cause re-excitation, but I...
  14. I

    Comp Sci Fortran77 Help Please

    Hey guys, new here and was hoping for some help. Basically I have to use Fortran 77 to complete some questions for an assignment The first thing to do is, read a bunch of numbers in a list format and then use these numbers to be entered within an equation. The values I have are listed in a 1...
  15. S

    Chernobyl and steam explosions

    Hello I must do a report on Chernobyl: before, during and after. I have all I need except for a clear and simple explanation of how steam explosions work in this regard. All the online sites I've been on provide information that is too advanced, and as a non native English speaker, the...
  16. M

    Alternative to MCNP for modeling alpha particles?

    I am a masters student in the UK. For my project I have to monitor the efficiency of zinc sulphide detectors for monitoring alpha particles in liquid solutions. I need to model things like the proximity of the detector to the liquid, the size of the detector and the thickness of the light-tight...
  17. Javier Lopez

    B Magnetic field of protons

    I do not understand the theory of moment of nuclei I read here: http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/nuclearmoment3.htm that the magnetic moment of Hydrogen is 2.79284734 magnetons = 2.79284734*9.274009994e-24 joules/tesla =2.59e-23 joules/tesla So if I make to rotate a proton using 150 keV...
  18. B

    Range of a Beta Particle

    Homework Statement Q- a positron emerges normally from a 4-mm thick slab of plastic (density= 1.14g/cm^3) with an energy of 1.62 MeV. What is the energy of the particle when it entered the slab? Homework Equations Range when 0< T <= 2.5 MeV: R= .412+T^[1.27-.0954*ln(T)] where T is kinetic...
  19. Javier Lopez

    I Stopping power for a proton ion gun through a Boron-11 sheet 1mm thick

    Hello, I need the stopping power for a proton ion gun through Boron-11 sheet 1mm thick. I have the following table obtained from here: https://www-nds.iaea.org/stopping/stopping_hydr.html Where the unit is in 1-15*eV*cm2/atom: Then I calculated for 600keV protons at table 5.1eV*cm2/atom. I...
  20. Mackenzie Cobb

    Why isn't tungsten used in nuclear reactors?

    Me again, with another potentially ignorant nuclear science question: Why isn't tungsten used to prevent meltdown in nuclear reactors? If tungsten has a higher melting point of tungsten is almost 6200 degrees Fahrenheit, and nuclear meltdown happens when the uranium fuel is some 5200 degrees...
  21. Mackenzie Cobb

    Chernobyl Cesium 137 Half-Life vs. Chernobyl Contamination

    Let me start out by saying that I have no idea what I'm talking about. I graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor's in Spanish, and I work as a Loan Review Specialist at a bank, which has NOTHING to do with my degree, and still yet nothing to do with this topic. But lately, I've become...
  22. S

    Total Angular Momentum of an odd-parity shell-model state

    Homework Statement A certain odd-parity shell-model state can hold up to a maximum of 4 nucleons. What are its values of J and L? What about an odd-parity shell-model state with a maximum of 6 nucleons? Homework Equations Parity = (-1)L J = L+S Total angular momentum, J, is equal to orbital...
  23. S

    I Difference between parallel and antiparallel spins?

    What is the difference between parallel and antiparallel spins for a pair of nucleons? My understanding is that nucleons have a strong tendency to pair - proton with proton, neutron with neutron, proton with neutron. When they pair their spins either: cancel (spins pair antiparallel) pairing...
  24. S

    Is the following decay process possible?

    Homework Statement An antimuon and electron may bind together via Coulomb attraction and then decay, but is the following process possible? (µ+e-) → νe + νµ_bar *The νµ_bar is the antiparticle of the muon neutrino - the antimuon neutrino More than one answer (below) may be correct. a)...
  25. C

    I Activity of daugther isotope in secular equilibrium

    Consider chain of two radioactive decays ##A \to B\to C##. The equation that regulates ##N_B## is $${\frac {\mathrm {d} N_{B}}{\mathrm {d} t}}=-\lambda _{B}N_{B}+\lambda _{A}N_{A}$$ I can't understand why the activity of ##B## is get as ##\lambda_B N_B##, for example at page 20 here...
  26. C

    I Total or kinetic energy in Bethe Bloch stopping power?

    The average loss of energy in a material per unit lenght of a particle (in particular an electron, which is stable) is described by the quantity ##dE/dx##. - for ionization it is given by the Bethe-Bloch formula $$-\left\langle {\frac {dE}{dx}}\right\rangle ={\frac {4\pi }{m_{e}c^{2}}}\cdot...
  27. C

    I Phenomenological potentials and exchange of force carriers

    Consider a proton-neutron system. Phenomenlogical nucleon-nucleon potentials contain exchange forces terms (Majorana, Bartlett and Heisenberg terms), which are linked to the symmetry of the state w.r.t. (for example) the exchange of isospin (i.e. charge). On the other hand proton and neutron...
  28. C

    I Strong force as exchange of mesons, or of quark and antiquark

    The (residual) strong force between nucleons can be desribed as - The exchange of a meson (from a nucleon to the other), as in picture b) - The exchange of a quark and an antiquark: in picture a) one nucleon "gives" a quark and receive an antiquark and it's the opposite for the other I do...
  29. C

    I Distance between two nucleons

    The potential energy associated to the interaction between nucleons has its minimum (point of equilibrium) at ##r\sim 0.7 fm##, as showed in the following graph: Nevertheless, there are two facts that are, apparently, in contrast with this: - The average distance between nucleons is...
  30. C

    I De Broglie relation using four momentum in particle physics

    In particle phyisics four-momentum is used and De Broglie relation is used to understand what lenghts can be "seen" in an experiment. Here (page 6) https://people.phys.ethz.ch/~pheno/PPP/PPP2.pdf it is claimed Where ##Q^2## is not actually "momentum" but its the square of the four momentum...
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