The study of radiation and radioactive materials and it's creation, safety, and applications.

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Nuclear physics study materials

I'm currently a ChemE undergraduate student and wish to pursue masters in nuclear engineering. Can you suggest some introductory reading material so that I can get acquainted with nuclear engineering ...
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What would be radiated from exposed nuclear reactor core? [on hold]

Let's imagine a space beacon; a satellite with a nuclear reactor on board, built in such a way, that while control (cooling, fission level regulation) is maintained, a part of the reactor core is open ...
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2answers
66 views

What is the role of plasma in nuclear fusion energy production?

I read that confined plasma in electromagnetic field uses in TOKAMAK nuclear fusion reaction. But I don't know what is the main role of plasma in fusion reaction. Is it use for producing energy ...
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1answer
159 views

Nuclear to Electricity Energy Conversion

Currently nuclear power generates heat, which heats water into steam that turns conventional turbines. The energy conversion is as follows: photonic->heat->kinetic->electric This would result in low ...
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3answers
9k views

Would being underwater help survive a nuclear bomb?

If I jump in my pool, on the river near my house knowing that a nuclear bomb, or atomic or H-Bomb exploded around 10 km from my house, would I survive? The way I see it is that water will protect me ...
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42 views

Effect of a nuclear weapon on the Moon

In some science fiction novel, there is the scenario of using nuclear weapons to deflect an Earth-approaching asteroid. But the question is, is a nuclear weapon really as useful on the moon or an ...
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225 views

From which height the effect of nuclear bomb will be Greater?

Well I was wondering like during war some of them drop nuclear bomb on ground and then it explode and we see a huge blast which causes so much of destruction but my question is that is it possible ...
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1answer
122 views

Physics needed for a quite well understanding of nuclear bomb [closed]

I am an undergraduate student in physics and mathematics and one of my early dreams in physics was to understand the way nuclear weapons work. Is there a book which deals with the physics and the ...
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23 views

Project Orion pusher plate computer modeling

Linked from the space.stackexchange forum: http://space.stackexchange.com/questions/15051/orion-project-npp-pusher-plate-computer-models-and-survivability Project Orion is discussed as if it is a ...
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37 views

Why build so big sarcophagus in Chernobyl instead another alternative? [closed]

As title, why build so big sarcophagus in Chernobyl? The new sarcophagus is really tall, large and expensive and it should cover the old one. But there is already a sarcophagus build over another ...
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5answers
101 views

Could we use nuclear bombs to generate electricity? [closed]

it seems the biggest problem with fusion power is confinement. on the other hand, we developed a fusion bomb in just a few years. i was wondering if it could be economically viable to use nuclear ...
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1answer
33 views

Is is possible to create a nuclear fusion reactor on a satellite and use it to produce heat

I am not a physicist but I would really like to know what trained physicists think about this problem that came up in conversation the other day. I have been reading about the search for habitable ...
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51 views

Why is it necessary to enrich Uranium and Plutonium before they can be used in nuclear warheads?

The World Nuclear Association(WNA) states: Weapons-grade uranium is highly enriched, to over 90% U-235 (the fissile isotope).Weapons-grade plutonium has over 93% Pu-239 However, what WNA or ...
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48 views

what is the analog of electronics for quarks or protons?

Is there an equivalent field for quarks or for protons as there is electronics for electrons where you can build engineer and mess around with things? May be even hack ?
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1answer
36 views

Mass-energy conversion mechanism in supernovas

Fusion of nuclei inside stars switches from exothermic to endothermic for Iron and elements heavier than Iron. Supernovas not only achieve fusion of transuranides (albeit in trace relative quantities),...
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2answers
37 views

Control rods in RBMK - what is the difference between control rods which are inserted from above or below?

So, in Wikipedia it says the following: "Most of the reactor control rods are inserted from above; 24 shortened rods are inserted from below and are used to augment the axial power distribution ...
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5answers
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Help! An 8 year old asked me how to build a nuclear power plant [closed]

I would really like to give an explanation similar to this one. Here's my current recipe: (i) Mine uranium, for example take a rock from here (picture of uranium mine in Kazakhstan). (ii) Put the ...
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0answers
19 views

Using ion radiation to make electricity? [duplicate]

Is it possible to capture the ion radiation from a nuclear source and make electricity from it? I always thought it was possible, but never looked into it? Is this what a beta voltaic battery does?
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72 views

X-ray shielding

X-ray shielding, why is lead used to shield us when taking X-ray images? As far as I remember (but can't find it on wikipedia ... ), the deflection on (high energy) photons increases the more heavier ...
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2answers
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Cause for spikes in trinity bomb test

In Richard Rhodes' book, The Making of the Atomic Bomb, I was reading about the Trinity nuclear test. High speed photos were taken and this one is from <1ms after the detonation. The book mentions ...
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1answer
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Nuclear fission plant loss of coolant accident (LOCA): how bad could it get?

In 1979 the world experienced its first severe nuclear plant accident at Three Miles Island, when TMI-2 underwent a LOCA with devastating consequences for the reactor core. About 50 % of it melted and ...
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1answer
74 views

Fission bomb: How much of it burns?

I am wondering about measured data on how efficient fission bombs were say the first ones. Since the fission in chain reaction releases large amounts of energy in fractions of a second, I imagine ...
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1answer
72 views

Why do products of nuclear decay have a lower mass than the original nucleus, when the sum of the mass of its nucleons is larger? [duplicate]

I've just started covering the topic of binding energy in Year 13 at school (final year before University). The definition we've been given of binding energy is that it is the work done when ...
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Why are heavy elements used in nuclear power plants? [duplicate]

I've seen that the energy produced by breaking an oxygen atom's nucleus is equivalent to burning a LOT of coal, 4.6 million metric tons if I remember correctly. (Crash Course Chemistry) If that is ...
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1answer
150 views

Why are cooling towers at nuclear power plants shaped the way they are?

The iconic cooling towers at most nuclear power plants are shaped like hyperboloids. Wikipedia mentions that this is because the wide base promotes thin film evaporation and the narrow point ...
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22 views

How much water do nuclear plants release as steam? [closed]

I'm not sure if this is the right site, but I was wondering how much water is released by today's nuclear plants during normal operation.
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2answers
184 views

Why do people say nuclear fusion is 50 years away? [closed]

This '50 years' number is floating around media pretty consistently, even the ITER road map claims that the first commercial reactor will happen post-2050. But why is that? I understand that there is ...
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146 views

Fusion reactors why does size matter?

I've been following articles about fusion recently, and with the ITER project mostly. I have noticed that their view point is they need to build a large scale reactor in order to achieve their goals. ...
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378 views

What is the theoretical wattage output of a Tokamak fusion reactor?

By that I mean the complete radiative wattage of any type of energetic radioactivity or electromagnetic wave or even particle if that's what they output. My purpose is to compare this to the suns ...
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2answers
294 views

Could a Nuclear Reactor Run (controllably) in Prompt-Critical Mode?

Could a nuclear reactor run (controllably) in Prompt-Critical mode? It would have a much higher power output than a normal nuclear reactor. Could it be controlled by some high-tech material that ...
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1answer
51 views

Managing nuclear waste [closed]

Suppose you are trying to dispose of used uranium fuel rods. Once they are cooled and contained in zirconium pods, how would one try and send those pods to the earths core? This is all hypothetical. ...
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2answers
194 views

The NERVA had to use liquid H2… But why?

The NERVA engine, developed at the late 60ies, was a nuclear thermal rocket developed for vacuum use in space craft. It was supposed to use Liquid Hydrogen, a cryogenic fuel with quite a few issues ...
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1answer
100 views

Smallest possible size of nuclear reactor [closed]

I recently began playing Fallout 4 and asked myself a question: Would it be possible to build a power armor with todays technology? I did some investigation on servomotors and stuff and came to ...
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2answers
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How to detect a secret nuclear detonation here on the earth?

How can we know that North Korea and Iran (to name a few) are exploding nuclear weapons if no inspectors have ever been granted access to suspected nuclear sites in these countries? How can we ...
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Nuclear transmutation of radioactive waste using high-energy neutrons

How likely does this work: Accelerate neutrons to as high energy as possible (particle accelerators/ cosmic rays ...) and hit (small samples of) our radioactive waste with it such that it is converted ...
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2answers
34 views

Can multiple adjacent reactors use neutron reflector walls in common to save mass?

Reactor designs like fission-fragment and some others use large masses of neutron reflectors to attain criticality. (For that matter, the very first pile did too, and in a staggered form rather ...
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21 views

Criticality in liquid thorium fluoride reactors

I have been reading up a bit about LFTRs over the past few days. Regarding safety, the argument of the people is that at the bottom of the reactor, there will be a salt plug that will be cooled by air ...
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1answer
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Stabilizing Radioactive Fission products

So most fission products have very long half-lives. But i noticed that if a neutron is added the half life becomes a fraction of what it originally was, so could this be a possible method of ridding ...
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2answers
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How would a black hole power plant work?

A black hole power plant (BHPP) is something I'll define here as a machine that uses a black hole to convert mass into energy for useful work. As such, it constitutes the 3rd kind of matter-energy ...
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1answer
147 views

What is the difference between zero background radiation and field background radiation in Nuclear Physics measurements?

Can someone please explain the difference between these two terms (Zero Background Radiation and Field Background Radiation) used in radiometric prospecting measurements?
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5answers
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How do control rods work?

I understand the basic idea of nuclear fission: put a bunch of fissionable material together and let the neutrons fly. An atom gets split, kicking out a few more neutrons, which split other atoms, ...
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110 views

How does neutron reflection work?

What I mean here isn't what is it used for, but what's actually going on with the reflector. There are a lot of sub questions to this. how much energy is lost in the act of reflection. not ...
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1answer
188 views

Why would an alpha-beryllium neutron source generating a radioisotope not produce controllable net power?

I have a question. I was looking through the table of nuclides and noticed that the energy needed to produce certain radioisotopes was less than the energy given off by the radioactive decay of that ...
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4answers
12k views

Why build nuclear reactors on shorelines?

While not directly a physics question, I can't think of forum better capable of answering my question. In discussions over Japan's nuclear reactor situation the observation was made that reactors ...
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2answers
175 views

Advanced Molten Salt Reactor - Is the concept of designing a reactor that uses spent nuclear fuel to generate power technically feasible?

I was going through the concept of designing a Nuclear Reactor that uses Spent Nuclear Fuel(SNF) to generate power as proposed by Transatomic Power . http://transatomicpower.com/white_papers/...
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3answers
888 views

Would sea water moderate a nuclear submarine meltdown?

My son asked me: If nuclear submarines get sunk or blown up, what is to stop them going into nuclear meltdown? I thought about it and came to the conclusion that because they're in the sea the ...
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2answers
269 views

Saturn V F-1 engines and beyond

I read that the F-1 engine from the 1st stage of the Saturn V rocket is the most powerful engine ever created by mankind, delivering ~200 gigawatts of power. Thus, I have got two questions: Will ...
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Is it possible to build a thermoelectric nuclear power plant?

Current nuclear power plants are essentially an enhanced version of a kettle, which seems like a stupidity caused by a lack of other options. We heat the water which turns to steam which rotates the ...
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Is the spontaneous fission-yield curve for 240Pu known?

I have not seen any data for the isotopes produced by spontaneous fission of plutonium. I believe this will be dominated by 240Pu as the major even-numbered isotope produced in reactor operations. I ...