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Gravity-Nuclear force relation

  1. Dec 30, 2011 #1
    Is there a relation between Nuclear energy and Gravity? If so, can you please explain what that is and why? If not, why not?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 30, 2011 #2
    Your question is somewhat unclear, so not sure how to respond. In nuclear physics, at least in the low energy regime, gravity does not really come into play simply because its effects are orders of magnitude smaller than those of the other fundamental forces. Of course there is gravitational attraction between the various particles that make up an atomic nucleus, but it is so small as to be negligible so far as nuclear energy generation is concerned.
     
  4. Dec 30, 2011 #3
    I'm sorry Markus - more directly, I meant any effect of the earth's Gravitational field on a Nuclear powerplant.
     
  5. Dec 30, 2011 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    Yes, but no more or less than a coal power plant or a cookie factory. Gravity affects everything the same.
     
  6. Dec 30, 2011 #5
    First generation nuclear power plants use pumps to pump cooling water into the reactor core. If the electric supply is interrupted for any reason such as a tsunami for a time longer than the battery backup will cover, the core will meltdown. Newer designs suspend emergency cooling water above the reactor relying on the earth's gravity to feed it into the core.
     
  7. Dec 30, 2011 #6

    Vanadium 50

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    What does that have to do with the question?
     
  8. Dec 31, 2011 #7
    There is no direct effect apart from the plant staying put where it is instead of floating off into space, and all the mechanics of the plant working as they are supposed to. In terms of the actual nuclear reactions taking place in the core, they would work just as well without the presence of an external gravitational field.
     
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