Saturday, May 28, 2011

Nuclear energy

Nuclear energy is the potential energy of the particles inside an atomic nucleus. The nuclear particles are bound together by the strong nuclear force.
Weak nuclear forces provide the potential energy for certain kinds of radioactive decay, such as beta decay.
Nuclear particles like protons and neutrons are not destroyed in fission and fusion processes, but collections of them have less mass than if they were individually free, and this mass difference is liberated as heat and radiation in nuclear reactions.
A very important scientist was MARIE SKLODOWSKA CURIE, who opened up the science of radioactivity.

Nuclear fission is a nuclear reaction in which a heavy nucleus (such as uranium) splits into two lighter nuclei (and possible some other radioactive particles as well).lei (and possible some other radioactive particles as well).

In such radioactive heavy nuclei, the balance between the strong nuclear force attractive force and the electrostatic repulsive force can be knocked out of equilibrium, by the introduction of energy in the form of an absorbed neutron or photon, the nucleus oscillates in an attempt to regain equilibrium until the electrostatic force gains more power than the shorter-distanced nuclear force, at which point the nucleus splits apart, releasing energy as it does so.


Nuclear fusion is a nuclear reaction in which two light nuclei (such as hydrogen) combine to form a heavier nuclei (such as helium). The process releases excess binding energy from the reaction, based upon the binding energies of the atoms involved in the process.


A nuclear power plant is a place where people make electricity using heat from nuclear reactions. A nuclear power plant has a place where the nuclear reaction happens called a reactor. The plant also has machines which remove heat from the reactor and make electricity. Electricity made by nuclear power plants is called nuclear power.


Radioactive waste is a waste product containing radioactive material. It is usually the product of a nuclear process such as nuclear fission, though industries not directly connected to the nuclear power industry may also produce radioactive waste.

Radioactivity diminishes over time, so in principle the waste needs to be isolated for a period of time until it no longer poses a hazard. This can mean hours to years for some common medical or industrial radioactive wastes, or thousands of years for high-level wastes from nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons reprocessing. The majority of radioactive waste is "low-level waste", meaning it has low levels of radioactivity per mass or volume. The main approaches to managing radioactive waste to date have been segregation and storage for short-lived wastes, near-surface disposal for low and some intermediate level wastes, and deep burial or transmutation for the long-lived, high-level wastes.


A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first fission ("atomic") bomb test released the same amount of energy as approximately 20,000 tons of TNT. The first thermonuclear ("hydrogen") bomb test released the same amount of energy as approximately 10,000,000 tons of TNT.

A modern thermonuclear weapon weighing little more than 1,100 kg can produce an explosive force comparable to the detonation of more than 1.2 million tons of TNT. Thus, even a small nuclear device no larger than traditional bombs can devastate an entire city by blast, fire and radiation. Nuclear weapons are considered weapons of mass destruction, and their use and control has been a major focus of international relations policy since their début.

1 comment:

  1. How interesting and how difficult to understand!
    Thanks Maria!