What is Nuclear Energy?
Nuclear Energy is the energy in the core of an atom. Where an atom is a tiny particle that constitutes every matter in the universe. Normally, the mass of an atom is concentrated at the center of the nucleus. Neutrons and Protons are the two subatomic particles that comprehend the nucleus.There ex a st massive amount of energy in bonds that bind atoms together.
Nuclear Energy is discharged by nuclear reactions either by fission or fusion. In nuclear fusion, atoms combine together to form a larger atom. In nuclear fission, the division of atoms takes place to form smaller atoms by releasing energy. Nuclear power plants produce energy using nuclear fission. Sun produces energy using mechanism of nuclear fusion.
Nuclear reactions cause changes in the nucleus of atoms which in turn leads to changes in atom itself. Nuclear reactions convert 1 element into a completely different element. Suppose if a nucleus interacts with any other particles then separates without altering the characteristics of other nuclei than the process is called as nuclear scattering rather than specifying it as a nuclear reaction. This does not imply to radioactive decay.
One of the most evident nuclear reaction is nuclear fusion reaction that occurs in fissionable materials producing induced nuclear fission.
Nuclear Reactions – Types
- Inelastic scattering: This process takes place when a transfer of energy occurs. It occurs above threshold energy.i.e Et = ((A+1)/A)* ε1, where Et is called as the inelastic threshold energy and ε1 is the energy of the first excited state.
- Elastic Scattering: It occurs when there is energy transfer between a particle and intends nuclei. It is the most vital process for slowing down neutrons. In the case of an elastic scattering total kinetic energy of any system is conserved.
- Transfer Reactions: The absorption of particle followed by discharge of 1 or 2 particles is referred as transfer reactions.
- Capture Reactions: When nuclei capture neutral or charged particles followed by discharge of ˠ-rays, it is termed as capture reactions. Radioactive nuclides are produced by neutron capture reactions.
Applications of Nuclear Energy
- Nuclear technology
- Nuclear medicine
- Nuclear Technology is used in Industries
- Agricultural uses of nuclear technology
- Environmental uses of nuclear technology
- Biological Experimentations
- Medical diagnosis and treatments
- Scientific Investigations
- Engineering Projects
- Neutron Activation Analysis
To learn more about the Nuclear Fuel Cycle and more, register with Byju’s and download our app.