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Nuclear energy

Nuclear binding energy is the energy required to split a nucleus of an atom into its component parts. The component parts are neutrons and protons, which are collectively called nucleons. The binding energy of nuclei is always a positive number, since all nuclei require net energy to separate them into individual protons and neutrons.

Contributors in Nuclear energy

Nuclear energy

alpha particle

Energy; Nuclear energy

A positively charged particle ejected spontaneously from the nuclei of some radioactive elements. It is identical to a helium nucleus that has a mass number of 4 and an electrostatic charge of +2. It ...


Energy; Nuclear energy

The process by which the number of particles or photons entering a body of matter is reduced by absorption and scattered radiation.

binding energy

Energy; Nuclear energy

The minimum energy required to separate the nucleus of an atom into its component neutrons and protons.

chain reaction

Energy; Nuclear energy

A reaction that initiates its own repetition. In a fission chain reaction, a fissionable nucleus absorbs a neutron and fissions spontaneously, releasing additional neutrons. These, in turn, can be ...


Energy; Nuclear energy

A large heat exchanger designed to cool exhaust steam from a turbine below the boiling point so that it can be returned to the heat source as water. In a pressurized-water reactor, the water is ...

annual limit on intake (ALI)

Energy; Nuclear energy

As defined in Title 10, Section 20.1003, of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR 20.1003), ALI is the derived limit for the amount of radioactive material taken into the body of an adult worker by ...

atomic energy

Energy; Nuclear energy

The energy that is released through a nuclear reaction or radioactive decay process. Of particular interest is the process known as fission, which occurs in a nuclear reactor and produces energy ...

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