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What Is A Nuclear Reactor?

  1. Jun 6, 2013 #1
    i know few things about nuclear reactors .i have alot of doubts.i want to know everything completely such as
    1.how control rods absorb neutrons?
    2.how do scientists know what's happening inside an atom?

    and so on.................

    " can anyone tell me the complete details about nuclear reactors ? " " i will be very happy , if i get a animated video " i want to know all the things !!!!! :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 6, 2013 #2


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    They have atoms with a large cross-section for neutron absorption. The neutrons just get absorbed by those atoms.
    With experiments and good models.

    For an overview of nuclear reactors, see Wikipedia. For better descriptions, there are tons of books about nuclear reactors.
  4. Jun 7, 2013 #3
    Thanks You , Sir :)

    1.What is cross section ?
    2.why can't we use anyother elements other than uranium such as helium , aluminium , silver ? will they absorb neutrons without fissioning?
    3.can human able to do nuclear fusion in earth ? if yes , say how . if no , why?
    4. i want to alot of things in physics . what are the basics ? how do i invent new things ? what is lacking in a normal man when compared to scientists ?
    5.why doesn't a u-238 becomes unstable after absorbing a neutron ? ( it changes into u-239) .
    6.does a uranium molecule contain any uranium atoms ( u-238,u-239,...) or only (u-238)?
    7.how do scientists extract u-238 atoms correctly ?
    8.i read a book namely " nuclear power".i found this line on that book . it was an old book ( 30 years old ).

    line - natural uranium metal consists of small part of u.235 which is fissionable ,and 140 times as much of another called u.238 which is not easily fissionable.so scientists had to extract u.235 metal - a huge and very costly task.

    doubt - is u.235 a metal or atom ? does natural uranium contains u.235 , 236,7..8....9....?

    9.how voltage of 400,000 stepped down at transformer to 11,000 or else?
    10.why can't we do nuclear fusion in earth using the temperature ( heat ) emitted in nuclear fission ? [ i read in that same book . it says that " man is not yet able to do nuclear fusion) )

    10.how do the nuclear fission begins in a reactor core? can you explain the whole process simply ?

    thanks in advance :)

    waiting for your replies and to ask more questions ......
  5. Jun 7, 2013 #4


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    You can find answer to most (I think all) of your questions simply by looking at wikipedia. It is rude to ask others to write the same explanations again here, if you can find the answers yourself so easily.
  6. Jun 7, 2013 #5


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    https://www.physicsforums.com/blog.php?b=3588 [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  7. Jun 8, 2013 #6
  8. Jun 9, 2013 #7

    jim hardy

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    here too : http://www.nucleartourist.com/

    you'll soon learn which keywords yield good search engine results.
    Interested in nuclear, are we ?
    You might enjoy reading John McPhee's "Curve of Binding Energy"
    and Freeman Dyson's "Disturbing the Universe".
  9. Jun 9, 2013 #8


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    You could join the United States Navy, get a really high test score, enroll in the nuclear program, and spend 16 hours a day, for 6 months*, learning how nuclear reactors work.

    They are complicated, and require a moderate amount of knowledge in many fields:
    *"Students typically spend 45 hours per week in the classroom, and are required to study an additional 10 to 35 hours per week outside of lecture hours, six days per week."

    Fortunately, I do not recall that anyone's head ever exploded. Though the attrition rate was rumoured to be around 50% by the time school was finished.

    Anyways, Kehsibashok, I doubt anyone here at the forum has the 2000+ man-hours of spare time to teach you "all the things" about nuclear reactors. I know I don't. Sorry.



    Ha! I knew all the answers to your questions except for one. But I almost never respond to laundry lists, and this is no exception.
  10. Jun 12, 2013 #9

    Thanks Alot Everyone.I'm Asking Doubts Here As I Want To Learn Everything From Basic.So I Will Be Clear In All The Ways.

    My School Has Started Again , The Leave Is Over . I Don't Have Much Time To Read Online. If I Get Time , I Will Ask Here :)

    Thanks Alot Again.....................

    ( I Must Schedule Time To Read Online Also .)

    And.. I'm From India.
  11. Jun 12, 2013 #10

    jim hardy

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  12. Jun 12, 2013 #11


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    There is too much to know, and there is no way that any PF member (no matter how compliant) can be expected to dredge their knowledge and type out everything they know.

    You will have to search the Internet and get the basics that way. If you wish to come back and request clarification over narrowly-focused points, you can get some help that way. Good luck.
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