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Using nuclear energy...

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posted on May, 27 2006 @ 10:51 AM
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Anyone here know, if any other way (apart from heating water) of using nuclear material exists? (ore may exist...)




posted on May, 28 2006 @ 12:42 PM
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I don't quite understand your question, please clarify a bit...



posted on May, 28 2006 @ 03:27 PM
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The are many other uses for Radioactive ("Nuclear?") materials. Radioactive materials are often use as traces, so you can find them. You can find them using an Autoradiograph (Photo film exposed to radiation), or a Geiger counter. One such use is to find blockages in humans, and drains. Another might be to use for Sanger sequencing of DNA, or Electrophoresis.

This however does not involve any fission or fusion of nuclei.



posted on May, 28 2006 @ 03:50 PM
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Treating cancers would eb another one there skippy , microwaves x rays ...etc



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 07:30 PM
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Radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG) can provide electrical power to smaller electrical loads by harnessing the thermoelectric effect. Basically, they use radioactive decay to heat a junction of two dissimilar metals which induces a voltage between the respective ends of each piece of metal.

They work well for spacecraft power supplies whenever they're too far away to rely on solar cells. The problem is that their output is in the range of maybe hundreds of watts, whereas a typical PWR/BWR nuclear power plant can produce hundreds of megawatts.



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 07:20 AM
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Sorry I didn't make myself clear. It's quite difficult to write in english...

What I meant is that now nuclear power plants rely only on nuclear fission to heat water, water then produces steam, ...

Somehow it seems to me that all this chain mechanism should be really not efficient.

So I was thinking of another way (maybe more direct method) of getting electricity from radioactive fuel...



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 07:41 AM
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RTGs are pretty much the only way I know of to produce a voltage from nuclear decay without heating water. You see, conventional fission requires the presence of a moderator to thermalize (slow down) neutrons, thereby transferring their kinetic energy to water molecules and raising the temperature of the water. Without such a moderator, there would be no method of harnessing the kinetic energy of the neutrons released during nuclear fission (or after nuclear fission, but fission fragment decay and delayed fast neutrons are really beyond the scope of this discussion).

Nuclear fission is just a way of providing input into what basically amounts to a heat engine, and it is surprisingly efficient relative to other methods of creating steam to turn turbines.



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 07:46 AM
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I may be wrong, but isn't there gamma radiation emitted too?

Because if there is, there must be some sort of way of using it...



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 08:35 AM
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Yeah, gammas are emitted but only really transfer significant amounts of energy through photointeractions, either through the photo-electric effect, compton scattering, or pair production. Without being too technical, all this does is transfer the momentum of the photon (looking at things from a particle, rather than a wave perspective) to random molecular kinetic energy (pretty much an indication of temperature, as random molecular kinetic energy goes up, temperature also goes up) by exciting the electrons in the atoms of surrounding materials.

Basically, all gammas do when they actually interact is raise temperature and ionize things. Really, they penetrate objects far more efficiently than they interact with objects because of their 0 mass and neutral charge. That makes them really poor conduits of energy transfer. They add to the energy output of nuclear power plants, but don't really contribute a large percentage of the energy transfer during at power operation. They only become really significant after shutdown/at very low power levels.



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 08:45 AM
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Ok thanks.
ATS is really much better than any physics lecture...



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 09:01 AM
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No problem man, glad I was able to help you out.

I know what you mean, I pretty much slept through all of my physics lectures back in Nuclear Power School. As boring as they make stuff like that, it's hard to get interested and actually pay attention.



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 12:38 PM
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Originally posted by Shadow
Yeah, gammas are emitted but only really transfer significant amounts of energy through photointeractions, either through the photo-electric effect, compton scattering, or pair production. Without being too technical, all this does is transfer the momentum of the photon (looking at things from a particle, rather than a wave perspective) to random molecular kinetic energy (pretty much an indication of temperature, as random molecular kinetic energy goes up, temperature also goes up) by exciting the electrons in the atoms of surrounding materials.


Someone's either been a nuke or is a nuke in the US Navy. Welcome aboard!

How did you do on your RP portion of the comp?



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 02:28 PM
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lol

I was hoping I'd be able to bait one of us out of the crowd here. Yeah, I'm a nuke electrician, just getting ready to report aboard the Dwight D Eisenhower in like two hours.

RP portion of comp? As I recall I didn't do so well on that, no one in my class got over a 3.0 on it actually. I think I got like a 2.7, by far not my best work. I pulled somewhere between a 3.40 and a 3.50 in the actual class though.




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