Appendix B

Power from Nuclear Energy

B.1 Introduction

Compared with the energy-liberating potential of fossil fuels, energy liberated from nuclear fuel is astronomically high. While only 1 kg of U235 is capable of liberating about 85×106 MJ of heat by going through nuclear fission, a quantity of about 5×106 kg of coal with a high heating value of 17 MJ/kg has to be burnt to get an equivalent amount of energy.

There are two different methods of energy generation by a nuclear fuel, i.e., either by nuclear fission or by nuclear fusion. When heavy fissile elements are subjected to nuclear fission in a nuclear reactor, chain reactions of these elements take place, releasing a huge quantum of energy. In nuclear fusion, simple atomic nuclei are fused ...

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