Questions tagged [nuclear-engineering]

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What's the smallest possible nuclear power generator?

Nuclear microreactors like Westinghouse's eVinci are small enough to fit on a flatbed semi-truck, and NuScale Power's small modular reactor (SMR) is relatively small, too; but are there smaller ...
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Nuclear pulsejet

As the title suggests, I am wondering about the feasibility of Nuclear powered pulsejet engines, including Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs). I am not talking about Nuclear pulse rockets, ...
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Is overpressure really an appropriate criteria for blast damage?

So, I went on Nukemap, and they gave me the following values for blast effects. 1 psi (7 kPa): windows break 5 psi (34 kPa): most residential buildings collapse These numbers are way too high. 1 psi ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
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Molecular Laser Isotope Separation for vapor $\rm H_2O$ and $\rm D_2O$ and why not implemented?

Based on the material from The absorption spectra of liquid phase H2O, HDO and D2O from 0·7 μm to 10 μm, where the IR absorption spectra of H20 and HDO are somewhat similar but noticeably different ...
Young Jun Lee's user avatar
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Transportation and storage of atomic weapons

I’ve been reading into the ministry of defence recently, and my question in general is this: Considering that the UK and US have so many nuclear weapons, how do they: store the nuclear weapons (isn’t ...
James Charlie's user avatar
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Atomic weapon design book [closed]

I’m starting my degree in nuclear engineering in September and was wondering if anyone knew any good books for Atomic Weapon design please?
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Heat extraction in Nuclear Fusion

In nuclear fusion the atoms are in a hot plasma and the temperature is >5000K for them to posses kinetic energy and overcome repulsion to fuse , this process generates some heat(which is equal to ...
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Recent breakthrough on Inertial Confinement Nuclear Fusion at NIF

For the very first time, it has been demonstrated that it is now possible to make Nuclear Fusion generate more energy than is required for its equipment to operate, but it is not entirely clear as to ...
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Can nuclear bombs intended for mass destruction also be used to deflect asteroids?

As far as I know, there are two possible uses of nuclear bombs: for mass destruction and for deflecting asteroids. For example, Wikipedia describes how nuclear bombs can be used for deflecting ...
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Nuclear, waste heat stirling applications

Could the waste heat normally expelled from nuclear plants run low temperature stirling engines or does it need a specific temperature threshold?
LazyReader's user avatar
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How can nuclear reactors control the exponential cascade of neutrons fast enough to prevent an explosion?

The Wiki article on nuclear reactor physics states that the average neutron lifetime in a typical core is on the order of a millisecond, the exponential factor is as small as 0.01, in one second the ...
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Why are fission fragment reactors not used?

From Wikipedia a fission fragment reactor is a nuclear reactor that generates electricity by decelerating an ion beam of fission byproducts instead of using nuclear reactions to generate heat. By ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
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What, roughly, are the characteristics of nuclear power in grid management?

Electric grids are volatile: As there's close to no storage capacity, power in must equal power out all the time. One part of the management toolset is the various power sources attached to a grid. ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
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Chernobyl - why didn't they power their own circulation system?

The test that led to the Chernobyl accident was to see if they could keep cooling water circulating long enough in the event of a power cut for the generators to kick in. So, why didn't they just ...
Tom Melly's user avatar
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What are the design differences between a hydrogen bomb and a neutron bomb?

Are the presence of neutron reflectors the only difference between a hydrogen bomb and a neutron bomb? Many sources go into the bombs' different effects but I couldn't find the differences in how they'...
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Relevancy of (neutron energy loss and atomic weight) and the material selection of fast and thermal nuclear reactor

From this https://www.nuclear-power.net/glossary/neutron-moderatoraverage-logarithmic-energy-decrement/, I have found that the relationship between atomic weight and neutron energy loss can give the ...
Nawaz Sharif's user avatar
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Half-life Unit Notations

I was looking for some element's half-life, on the following website: http://nucleardata.nuclear.lu.se/toi/listnuc.asp?sql=&A1=214&A2=214&Z=88 For 214,88-Ra, the half-life is shown to be: ...
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Where can I find a database of (n,n' gamma) and (n,gamma) reactions sorted by Isotope and Q value

I have some MCNP spectra with interesting gamma peaks. I can not for the life of me find a database that allows me to search for reactions by Q value or isotope, or both. I can't even find the Q value ...
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What is the *typical* quantity (in kg) of uranium-235 present at a given moment in a nuclear plant?

What is the typical quantity (in kg) of uranium-235 present at a given moment in a working nuclear plant? How does this compare to the typical amount of uranium-235 in a typical nuclear bomb (...
Mathieu Krisztian's user avatar
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3 answers
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How is nuclear fuel dealt with?

Not sure if anyone would know this, but was discussing it with friends, and it seems like quite the puzzle. In short, how is nuclear fuel in reactors handled? Logically, the nuclear fuel must be ...
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What are the key technical challenges to development of traveling wave reactors?

I recently learned about traveling wave reactors (TWRs) on the Netflix Bill Gates special, as an example of a cutting-edge technology Gates is funding which has the potential solve several ...
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How do nuclear power plants prevent fuel rods from depleting nonuniformaly?

Power output of nuclear reactors is controlled by control rods that sit in between the fuel rods: These are pulled out to increase fission rates - and lowered to decrease them. The control rods are ...
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Is my understanding of the Chernobyl explosions correct?

I have been reading technical reports and whatnot about Chernobyl for some time, and I'm feeling that they-or their wording-is not quite letting me understand it. For lack of a better way to present ...
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How does a nuclear powered rocket engine work?

Nuclear power always require some way of converting the energy from nuclear to electrical or mechanical to be useful. For example, in a nuclear power generation facility, this is done through heat/...
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Is the core of an RBMK reactor submersed in coolant?

I have looked at many diagrams of the Chernobyl reactor and am wondering where the coolant comes from that enters the control rod channels when the control rods are raised. All the diagrams show ...
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How to code this iterative scheme for solving 2-group diffusion equation?

I am trying to write a python code to solve the neutron diffusion equation to model neutron flux distribution in a one-dimensional two-group setting. The governing equations of the system are: $$-...
Amit Hasan Arpon's user avatar
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1 answer
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Which Gen IV reactor types use nuclear waste as fuel?

I have read the Wikipedia article on Generation IV nuclear reactors, but from that article it is not clear to me which of the main reactor types that use nuclear waste to fuel the process. As far as I ...
Anders Gustafsson's user avatar
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2 answers
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Why aren't nuclear reactors designed to handle the loss of the heat sink?

I always wonder why nuclear power plants aren't designed to handle a loss of the heat sink. At the point at which hydrogen is being made from the water, can't you just remove the water and catch the ...
Mark Menge's user avatar
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How is the neutron capture cross-section increased in thermal breeder reactors?

The related Wikipedia article says: A breeder reactor is a nuclear reactor that generates more fissile material than it consumes. Breeder reactors achieve this because their neutron economy is ...
peterh's user avatar
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Critical mass in a molten salt reactor

In a conventional nuclear reactor the amount of neutrons 'flying around' is maintained with control rods and water is usually used as a moderator. From a certain point of view the control rods keep ...
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How did the RBMK control rod design cause an increase in reactivity when moved downwards?

I have been trying to understand a particular aspect of the Chernobyl accident - the role of the graphite displacers on the end of the control rods. The basic story is that the graphite displacers ...
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Was the explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor a 'true' nuclear explosion?

Was the second - the big - explosion of the reactor core in the Chernobyl catastrophe a true nuclear explosion? There have been those who have said that it was ... but sayings to this effect do not ...
AmbretteOrrisey's user avatar
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1 answer
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Can fusion be used to synthesize precious metals? [closed]

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthesis_of_precious_metals, precious metals can be synthsized using fission. I think that if we found a way to do it with fusion, it would be more ...
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Dose rate through shielding from Co-60 to verify Monte Carlo result?

I need to calculate the dose rate leaking from sealed Co-60 sources. Let's say the activity of a source is 7 TBq. The source is tube shaped, 2 mm radius and 10 mm in height. There is 5 cm of tungsten ...
Tibor Koroknai's user avatar
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Would a large dome structure prevent widespread effects of nuclear plant explosions?

In both the Fukushima and Chernobyl incidents, widespread contamination would have been prevented had both facilities been enclosed within a larger structure. While existing plant designs call for ...
Dai's user avatar
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Why didn't the Fukushima turbine supply electricity to the residual heat removal system? [closed]

Instead the pump relied on the diesel generators, why didn't it just use the residual heat to generate electricity? P.s. The question is very specific to the residual heat generated after inserting ...
vk.edward.li's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
62 views

Nuclear wastegate thermal dissipation systems?

How do shoreline nuclear facilities lower the temperature of wastewater generated by their cooling systems before it enters the ocean?
BUzzBuzz's user avatar
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2 answers
199 views

Do ships powered by nuclear reactors use water for shielding?

On a different Stack, I encountered an answer that was making a comparison to nuclear powered naval ships. It was stated that the physical shielding being used was various kinds of metals. This seems.....
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When backup cooling fails in reactors without passive safety, what is the risk of radioactive contamination?

Most/all nuclear fission reactors require cooling. Due to radioactive decay heat, this is true even when the reactor is switched off. Hence, there are requirements for nuclear plants to have power ...
gerrit's user avatar
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How does a nuclear reactor initiate nuclear fission? [closed]

How do we start a nuclear chain reaction? For example, if we wanted to do it this weekend, what would we need, and what are the basic steps? I'm not looking for a text book response or highly detailed ...
Listen's user avatar
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Summary of major outage management works needed in the 4th decade of a nuclear reactor?

I've noticed that quite a few commercial nuclear reactors have an extended outage (they close down for several months) some time late in their third decade, and the maintenance works during the ...
410 gone's user avatar
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How does thermonuclear warhead yield scale with size?

The Tsar Bomba packed a yield of 50 megatons into a package 2.1m in diameter by 8m long. Assuming that the lead tamper modification was not used (which boosts the yield of the Tsar Bomba design to ...
ThreePhaseEel's user avatar