Nuclear Power Technologies Explained Simply is your one-stop resource for understanding everything related to Nuclear Power. This book is designed for citizens and policy-makers who want to become more fully informed regarding the science and technology of nuclear power.
All aspects of nuclear technology are explained simply enough for any reader to understand. At the same time, enough detail and data is provided for the reader to make intelligent decisions. The book also has numerous illustrations and data tables throughout.
Within this book you will find answers to all of your questions related to nuclear power, including:
- How do nuclear power plants work?
- What are the main components and design options of nuclear power plants?
- What exactly happened at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Japan?
- How do we make nuclear power plants safer?
- How dangerous is each type of radioactivity?
- What do the units of radioactive decay mean?
- How do we store nuclear waste safely for thousands of years?
- And many other questions related to nuclear power.
In addition, this book provides extensive data tables related to nuclear power. This is the most comprehensive and complete collection of data related to nuclear power currently available.
Types of data include:
01. Complete list of radioactive isotopes. Specific data includes radioactive isotope, decay type, new atom created, and half-life. Note that this data was compiled from a variety of sources, making it the most comprehensive data table of radioisotopes currently available!
02. Complete list of half-lives for all radioactive isotopes, listed in order of decay time.
03. Decay sequences for multiple decay isotopes.
04. Melting points of nuclear fuel and fuel rods.
05. Dosage of absorbed radioactive decay and the resulting effect on human health.
06. Suggested Nuclear Standards from ANS and NRC
- Overview of Nuclear Power
- Creation of Energy from Nuclear Fuel
- Operation of Nuclear Power Plants
- Science of Meltdowns and Explosions
- Three Mile Island
- Fukushima, Japan
- Making Nuclear Power Plants Safer
- By-Products and Radioactivity
- Health Issues of Radioactive Decay
- Measuring Radiation
- Storing Nuclear Waste
- Appendix Material and Data for Nuclear Power
Items Found ONLY in this Book
Comprehensive Tables of Radioactive Decay Data
There are many features which are unique to this book. Most important of these are the extensive data tables on radioactive decay.
These tables were compiled from various sources – because no single source was complete. I also performed my own calculations and many data items, which allowed me to verify (and in some cases replace) the existing data. Therefore, in this book you are getting the most comprehensive data on nuclear decay anywhere.
The first table alone is worth the price of the book. This table provides all known radioactive isotopes, the decay type, the resulting isotope, and the half-life.
The second table is similar, but arranged in terms of half-life times. Therefore you are getting the complete list of radioactive isotopes arranged by time to decay.
Another useful table is the listing of multiple-decay isotopes. This table lists all the isotopes which go through multiple decay steps; with listing of number of steps and the total radioactive.
The fourth table is very unique – as far as I know. I realized that for many of the multiple decay sequences, I could arrange into just four simple tables. Using this simple arrangement, we can easily track the decay process for most isotopes…step by step. We can note each decay type, and each half-life along the way, with great simplicity.
Radioactive Measurements and Units also Unique
In addition to these comprehensive data tables, the book also is unique in providing detailed discussions of radioactive measurements and comparing units.
There are many units for radioactive decay, and many ways to measure. However, trying to make comparisons with these measurements and units can be difficult. We must use some practical experience and understanding of the science to make reasonable comparisons.
Furthermore, how we measure radioactive decay may be inaccurate. There are additional methods which we should consider. Some of these methods are presented in this book (and not likely to be found in most texts on the subject).
Additional Features in this book
There are also several additional features of this book. These include:
- Clear drawings for the basic designs of Nuclear Power Plants
- Short, clear summaries of each Nuclear Incident
- Detailed analysis of radioactive waste storage
- Discussion of half-life times in context of reality
- All your questions answered, with clear explanations
Details Worth Noting in This Book (Chapter by Chapter)
7.1 Overview of Nuclear Power
The first chapter provides an overview of nuclear power. In this chapter you will get a broad overview of the process of creating energy from nuclear material. (Details will be discussed in subsequent chapters)In this chapter you will also learn about the basic types of nuclear reactors and how they work. The end of the chapter provides a high level overview of by-products and radioactivity.
7.2 Creation of Energy: Nuclear Fuel, Fission, Chain Reactions
Chapter two explains in detail how nuclear fuel is converted into energy. Fuels discussed include Uranium and Plutonium, as well as the composition of fuel pellets and fuel rods.
The actual processes of unleashing energy from the nucleus is done through fission, chain reaction, and critical mass. Each of these topics is discussed in sufficient technological detail to understand the processes.
The final topic in the chapter is about controlling the neutrons, which is the essential tasks in order to prevent meltdowns and explosions.
7.3 Operation of Nuclear Power Plants
Chapter three discusses the operation of nuclear power plants. In this chapter you will learn about all types of nuclear reactors. You will also learn the main components of any nuclear reactor. Finally, you will learn the main design options available for nuclear reactors.
7.4 Science of Meltdowns and Explosions
Meltdowns and explosions are the primary concerns for most citizens regarding nuclear power. Therefore chapter four explains the science of meltdowns and explosions in great detail.
The first section explains how meltdowns occur, supplemented with data on the melting points of nuclear fuel and fuel rods. The remaining sections explain the process of nuclear explosions. There are two types of nuclear explosions, and both are discussed in detail.
7.5 Three Mile Island
Chapter five is devoted to the case of Three Mile Island. In this chapter you will learn exactly what happened during this event. The series of events are described in a series of steps which are easy to follow. This description is supplemented by analysis of the incident.
Chapter six is devoted to the case of Chernobyl. As with the chapter on Three Mile Island, in this chapter you will learn exactly what happened during the nuclear incident at Chernobyl. Through an easy to follow series of steps you will understand the events as they happened. This is supplemented by analysis of the incident.
7.7 Nuclear Accident in Fukushima Japan
Chapter seven is devoted to the recent nuclear incident in Fukushima, Japan. As with the previous chapters, you will learn what happened through an easy to follow step by step description of events.
7.8 Making Nuclear Power Plants Safer
In chapter eight you will learn all of the most important techniques for making nuclear power plants safer.
Notice that chapter four explained the science of meltdowns and explosions. Chapter five through seven discussed the events (and the science) of each of the most famous nuclear power incidents. Now in chapter eight we will discuss all of the best ways to make nuclear power plants safer in the future.
There are several categories of nuclear safety. These safety categories include design, construction, control room, communications, maintenance, and training. This chapter discusses specific methods for making nuclear power plants safer related to each of those categories.
Note that the majority of these techniques are provided by the American Nuclear Society, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and professors who specialize in nuclear safety.
7.9 By-Products and Radioactivity
Chapter nine explains the science of radioactivity. This chapter provides the basic science which will be applied to the remaining chapters of the book.
This chapter discusses alpha, beta, and gamma radiation. You will learn the nature and process of each type of decay, with examples. You will also learn about the many possible by-products of fission.
The last section is devoted to half-lives, where you will understand the basic concepts of half-lives, as well as the practical implications of various half-life values.
7.10 Health Issues of Radioactive Decay
Beyond meltdowns and explosions, the greatest concern of nuclear power is the effect radioactive decay has on human health. Therefore chapter ten discusses the health issues of radioactive decay in great detail. Every aspect of radioactive decay on human health is explored.
Topics include: Routes of entry of radioactive decay into the body; The penetration of each type of radioactive decay to enter the body; Mechanisms of each type of decay on the cells within the body; and Overall health dangers of each type of radioactive decay.
Next we turn to the energies of decay. The energy of the radioactive isotope is a major factor in how much damage will result. Therefore in this chapter we also discuss the energies of each type of radioactive decay. This includes the initial energies and the energies after impact.
Also, because gamma decay tends to be the most harmful, we discuss the energies of gamma decay. In particular we will discuss a new twist on the study of gamma decay: the energy of gamma as related to distance traveled.
7.11 Measuring Radiation
Chapter eleven discusses everything the reader needs to know regarding radiation measurements. This includes how radiation is measured, units of measurements, and biological effects.
There are many types of radiation measurements. These can be broadly grouped into physical properties, biological effects, and dose equivalents. The first three sections of this chapter explain each of these types of radiation measurements so that you can understand them clearly
The concept of dose equivalents is subtle, and we must use our logic when interpreting dose equivalent data. Therefore we will discuss dose equivalents in great detail.
Within each of these sections I provide a complete list of units used for radiation measurements. These are defined and explained, with additional notes that may help the reader.
Many people are concerned about the biological effects of radiation. Therefore I have a section which gives the reader a quick guide to dosage of radioactivity and the resulting biological effects.
The final sections of this chapter discuss devices which measure qualitative amounts of radiation (versus absolute amounts), such as the Geiger Counter, the Scintillator, and the Film Badge. We will discuss how each works, where they are most effectively used, and their limitations.
7.12 Storing Nuclear Waste
The final chapter of this book corresponds to the final activity of nuclear power: how to store radioactive nuclear waste for long periods of time.
We begin this chapter with a discussion on the steps required to store nuclear fuel, from depleted fuel rods in the hot reactor core to the final storage underground.
We then look at the possible dangers to the stored nuclear waste. We first examine the possible dangers from the nuclear material itself, within the container, and how to minimize those dangers. Then we look at the outside dangers to the container, such as from tornadoes, water, and terrorism. We will also discuss how to prevent those dangers from occurring.
Then we will discuss the repository at Yucca Mountain. We will discuss in great detail why the Yucca Mountain site has been chosen for the federal repository of nuclear waste, focusing particularly on the advantages of the location and the design of the facility.
We will conclude this chapter with a brief look at the future of nuclear waste technology.
Comprehensive Data in the Appendix
At the end of the book you will find a comprehensive set of data. This is the most comprehensive and most complete set of data related to nuclear power you will find anywhere. Some of the data tables worth noting include:
A.5.1 Radioisotopes: decay type, new atom, and half-life
The first table is a complete list of radioactive isotopes. In addition to the isotope, this table also provides the decay type, the new atom created, and the half-life.
This table was created by using multiple sources, because no single source provided all the data. Now, in this book, you have the most complete set of data on radioactive decay anywhere.
A.5.2 Half-lives listed in order of decay time
The second table is a complete list of half-lives for all radioactive isotopes, listed in order of decay time.
A.5.4 Multiple Decay Radioactive Isotopes
Note that some radioactive isotopes require multiple steps in order to become stable. Therefore I provide a complete list of all radioactive isotopes which require multiple decay steps.
A.5.5 Decay Sequences for Multiple Decay Isotopes
I also provide a unique set of tables based on multiple decay sequences. After reviewing the decay sequences, I discovered that I could place ALL multiple decay sequences in just four simple tables! This greatly simplifies the organization and understanding of multiple decay sequences. Of course, you will not find this set of tables in any other resource!
Other data in the Appendix include summaries for radioactive decay, and lists of suggested reading for nuclear safety standards.
The Ultimate Resource on Nuclear Power Technology
In total, this book is the ultimate resource for citizens and decision makers on nuclear power technology. Nuclear Power Technologies Explained Simply will answer all your questions related to nuclear power. This book will guide you through all the science and technology. Every aspect of nuclear power is explained simply enough so that anyone can understand regardless of background, yet enough technical detail is provided for the reader to make accurate and informed decisions.
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