This second edition represents an extensive revision of the?rst edition, - though the motivation for the book and the intended audiences, as described. This book is for beginners, and it is especially useful for the engineer or scientist who has no previous knowledge of nuclear energy but who wishes to get up to. Nuclear Energy is one of the most popular texts ever published The book presents a comprehensive overview of radioactivity.
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However, spontaneous fission of uranium can be used in the dating of very old rock samples. The development of nuclear energy from fission reactions began with the program to produce atomic weapons in the United States. Early work was carried out at several universities, and the first sustained nuclear chain reaction was achieved at the Univ. Later the weapons themselves were developed at Los Alamos, N.
Robert Oppenheimer see Manhattan Project. Nuclear Fusion Nuclear fusion, although it was known theoretically in the s as the process by which the sun and most other stars radiate their great output of energy, was not achieved by scientists until the s.
In the hydrogen bomb , such temperatures are provided by the detonation of a fission bomb. The energy released during fusion is even greater than that released during fission.
Moreover, the fuel for fusion reactions, isotopes of hydrogen, is readily available in large amounts, and there is no release of radioactive byproducts. In stars ordinary hydrogen, whose nucleus consists of a single proton, is the fuel for the reaction and is fused to form helium through a complex cycle of reactions see nucleosynthesis.
This reaction takes place too slowly, however, to be of practical use on the earth. The heavier isotopes of hydrogen— deuterium and tritium —have much faster fusion reactions. For sustained, controlled fusion reactions, a fission bomb obviously cannot be used to trigger the reaction. The difficulties of controlled fusion center on the containment of the nuclear fuel at the extremely high temperatures necessary for fusion for a time long enough to allow the reaction to take place.
For deuterium-tritium fusion, this time is about 0.
At such temperatures the fuel is no longer in one of the ordinary states of matter but is instead a plasma , consisting of a mixture of electrons and charged atoms. Obviously, no solid container could hold such a hot mixture; therefore, containment attempts have been based on the electrical and magnetic properties of a plasma, using magnetic fields to form a "magnetic bottle.
The use of tritium lowers the temperature required and increases the rate of the reaction, but it also increases the release of radioactive neutrons. Another method uses laser beams aimed at tiny pellets of fusion fuel to create the necessary heat and pressure to initiate fusion. If practical controlled fusion is achieved, it could have great advantages over fission as a source of energy.
Deuterium is relatively easy to obtain, since it constitutes a small percentage of the hydrogen in water and can be separated by electrolysis, in contrast to the complex and expensive methods required to extract uranium from its sources. Bibliography See H. Foreman, ed. Lewis, Nuclear Power Rebellion: Citizen vs. Glasstone, Sourcebook on Atomic Energy ; G.
The Doomsday Machine: Atomic Accidents: A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters: Nuclear 2. The Chernobyl Disaster: Double or Quits: Three Mile Island: Samuel Walker. Unintended Consequences: Campaigning for Clean Air: After Fukushima: What We Now Know: Nuclear is for Life: TMI 25 Years Later: Power to the People: Nuclear fuel cycle science and engineering Hardcover by Ian Crossland Editor. Chernobyl Record Hardcover by Richard F.
What Do You Think? Is Nuclear Power Safe? Nuclear Power Hardcover by Lauri S.
Friedman Editor. Hiroshima Paperback by John Hersey. Fennomania ebook by Hanna Nikkanen. A Piece of the Sun: Command and Control: