Nuclear Energy - 7th Edition - ISBN: 9780124166547, 9780124166363

Nuclear Energy

7th Edition

An Introduction to the Concepts, Systems, and Applications of Nuclear Processes

Authors: Raymond Murray Keith Holbert
eBook ISBN: 9780124166363
Hardcover ISBN: 9780124166547
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 7th February 2014
Page Count: 576
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Nuclear Energy is one of the most popular texts ever published on basic nuclear physics, systems, and applications of nuclear energy. This newest edition continues the tradition of offering a holistic treatment of everything the undergraduate engineering student needs to know in a clear and accessible way. The book presents a comprehensive overview of radioactivity, radiation protection, nuclear reactors, waste disposal, and nuclear medicine.

The seventh edition is restructured into three parts: Basic Concepts, Nuclear Power (including new chapters on nuclear power plants and introduction to reactor theory), and Radiation and Its Uses. Part Two in particular has been updated with current developments, including a new section on Reactor Safety and Security (with a discussion of the Fukushima Diiachi accident); updated information on naval and space propulsion; and revised and updated information on radioactive waste storage, transportation, and disposal. Part Three features new content on biological effects of radiation, radiation standards, and radiation detection.

Key Features

  • Coverage of energy economics integrated into appropriate chapters
  • More worked examples and end of chapter exercises
  • Updated final chapter on nuclear explosions for current geopolitical developments


Mechanical, Nuclear, Chemical and Materials Engineering undergraduates; graduate students in Mechanical, Civil, Chemical and Electrical Engineering; engineers in Mechanical, Nuclear and Materials Engineering; professionals in power-generation, medical diagnostics, and radiology industries.

Table of Contents

About the Authors



Chapter 1: Energy


1.1 Forces and energy

1.2 Units of measure

1.3 Thermal energy

1.4 Radiant energy

1.5 The equivalence of matter and energy

1.6 Energy and the world

1.7 Summary

Chapter 2: Atoms and nuclei


2.1 Atomic theory

2.2 Gases

2.3 The atom and light

2.4 Laser beams

2.5 Nuclear structure

2.6 Sizes and masses of nuclei

2.7 Binding energy

2.8 Summary

Chapter 3: Radioactivity


3.1 Nuclear stability

3.2 Radioactive decay

3.3 The decay law

3.4 Radioactive chains

3.5 Measurement of half-life

3.6 Summary

Chapter 4: Nuclear processes


4.1 Transmutation of elements

4.2 Energy conservation

4.3 Momentum conservation

4.4 Reaction rates

4.5 Particle attenuation

4.6 Neutron cross sections

4.7 Neutron migration

4.8 Summary

Chapter 5: Radiation and materials


5.1 Ionizing radiation

5.2 Light charged particle interactions

5.3 Heavy charged particle stopping by matter

5.4 Gamma-ray interactions with matter

5.5 Neutron reactions

5.6 Radiation effects and damage

5.7 Summary

Chapter 6: Fission


6.1 The fission process

6.2 Energy considerations

6.3 By-products of fission

6.4 Energy from nuclear fuels

6.5 Summary

Chapter 7: Fusion


7.1 Fusion reactions

7.2 Electrostatic and nuclear forces

7.3 Thermonuclear reactions in a plasma

7.4 Summary


Chapter 8: The history of nuclear energy


8.1 The rise of nuclear physics

8.2 The discovery of fission

8.3 The development of nuclear weapons

8.4 The atomic energy acts

8.5 International atomic energy agency

8.6 Reactor research and development

8.7 The nuclear controversy

8.8 Summary

Chapter 9: Particle accelerators


9.1 Electric and magnetic forces

9.2 High-voltage machines

9.3 Linear accelerator

9.4 Cyclotron and betatron

9.5 Synchrotron and collider

9.6 Accelerator applications

9.7 Spallation

9.8 Summary

9.9 Exercises

9.10 Computer exercises

Chapter 10: Biological effects of radiation


10.1 Physiological effects

10.2 Radiation dose units

10.3 Basis for limits of exposure

10.4 Sources of radiation dosage

10.5 Radiation and terrorism

10.6 Summary

Chapter 11: Radiation protection


11.1 Protective measures

11.2 Calculation of dose

11.3 Effects of distance and shielding

11.4 Internal exposure

11.5 Radionuclides in the environment

11.6 The radon problem

11.7 Environmental radiological assessment§

11.8 Contemporary radiation standards

11.9 summary

Chapter 12: Radiation detectors


12.1 Detector characteristics

12.2 Gas counters

12.3 Neutron detectors

12.4 Scintillation counters

12.5 Personnel dosimetry

12.6 Solid-state detectors

12.7 Statistics of counting

12.8 Pulse height analysis

12.9 Advanced detectors

12.10 Detectors and counterterrorism

12.11 Summary

Chapter 13: Information from isotopes


13.1 Stable and radioactive isotopes

13.2 Tracer techniques

13.3 Radiopharmaceuticals

13.4 Medical imaging

13.5 Radioimmunoassay

13.6 Radiometric dating

13.7 Neutron activation analysis

13.8 Radiography

13.9 Radiation gauges†

13.10 Summary

Chapter 14: Useful radiation effects


14.1 Medical treatment

14.2 Radiation preservation of food

14.3 Sterilization of medical supplies

14.4 Pathogen reduction

14.5 Crop mutations

14.6 Insect control

14.7 Applications in chemistry

14.8 Transmutation doping of semiconductors

14.9 Neutrons in fundamental physics

14.10 Neutrons in biological studies

14.11 Research with synchrotron X-rays

14.12 Summary


Chapter 15: Isotope separators


15.1 Mass spectrograph

15.2 Gaseous diffusion separator

15.3 Gas centrifuge

15.4 Uranium enrichment

15.5 Laser isotope separation

15.6 Separation of deuterium

15.7 Summary

Chapter 16: Neutron chain reactions


16.1 Criticality and multiplication

16.2 Multiplication factors

16.3 Fast reactor criticality

16.4 Thermal reactor criticality

16.5 Four factor formula parameters

16.6 Neutron flux and reactor power

16.7 The natural reactor

16.8 Summary

Chapter 17: Nuclear heat energy


17.1 Methods of heat transmission

17.2 Fuel element conduction and convection

17.3 Temperature distributions through a reactor

17.4 Steam generation and electrical power production

17.5 Waste heat rejection

17.6 Summary

Chapter 18: Nuclear power plants


18.1 Reactor types

18.2 Power reactors

18.3 Power plant economics

18.4 Light water reactors

18.5 Other generation II reactors

18.6 Generation III(+) reactors

18.7 Small modular reactors

18.8 Generation IV reactors

18.9 Summary

Chapter 19: Reactor theory introduction


19.1 The diffusion equation

19.2 Diffusion equation solutions

19.3 Reactor criticality

19.4 Heterogeneous reactor

19.5 Multigroup diffusion theory

19.6 Summary

Chapter 20: Time-dependent reactor behavior


20.1 Neutron population growth

20.2 Reactor kinetics

20.3 Reactivity feedback

20.4 Reactor control

20.5 Fission product poisons

20.6 Fuel burnup

20.7 Summary

Chapter 21: Reactor safety and security


21.1 Safety considerations

21.2 Assurance of safety

21.3 The nuclear regulatory commission

21.4 Emergency core cooling and containment

21.5 Probabilistic risk assessment

21.6 The three mile island accident and lessons learned

21.7 Institute of nuclear power operations§

21.8 The chernobyl accident

21.9 The fukushima daiichi accident

21.10 Philosophy of safety

21.11 Nuclear security

21.12 Summary

Chapter 22: Nuclear propulsion and remote power


22.1 Reactors for naval propulsion*

22.2 Space reactors

22.3 Radioisotopic power

22.4 Future nuclear space applications

22.5 Summary

Chapter 23: Radioactive waste disposal


23.1 The nuclear fuel cycle

23.2 Waste classification

23.3 Spent fuel storage

23.4 Transportation

23.5 Reprocessing

23.6 High-level waste disposal

23.7 Low-level waste generation, treatment, and disposal

23.8 Environmental restoration of defense sites

23.9 Nuclear power plant decommissioning

23.10 Summary

Chapter 24: Nuclear energy future


24.1 Components of electrical power cost

24.2 Nuclear power stagnation

24.3 Nuclear power renaissance

24.4 World energy use

24.5 Nuclear energy and sustainable development

24.6 Greenhouse effect and global climate change

24.7 International nuclear power

24.8 Desalination

24.9 The hydrogen economy

24.10 Summary

Chapter 25: Breeder reactors


25.1 The concept of breeding

25.2 Isotope production and consumption

25.3 The fast breeder reactor

25.4 Integral fast reactor

25.5 Breeding and uranium resources

25.6 Recycling and breeding

25.7 Summary

Chapter 26: Fusion reactors


26.1 Comparison of fusion reactions

26.2 Requirements for practical fusion reactors

26.3 Magnetic confinement machines

26.4 Inertial confinement machines

26.5 Other fusion concepts

26.6 Prospects for fusion

26.7 Summary

Chapter 27: Nuclear weapons


27.1 Nuclear power versus nuclear weapons

27.2 Nuclear explosives

27.3 The prevention of nuclear war

27.4 Nonproliferation and safeguards

27.5 IAEA inspections

27.6 Production of tritium

27.7 Management of weapons uranium and plutonium

27.8 Summary

Appendix A: Reference information and data

Appendix B: Textbook-specific information

B.1 How to use this book effectively

B.2 Computer programs

B.3 Answers to selected exercises



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About the Author

Raymond Murray

Affiliations and Expertise

Nuclear Engineering Department, North Carolina State University, USA

Keith Holbert

Keith Holbert is presently an Associate Professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy

Engineering of Arizona State University (ASU) where he has been a faculty member since 1989. He

earned his B.S., M.S, and Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from University of Tennessee. His research

expertise is in the area of instrumentation and system diagnostics including radiation effects on sensors.

Keith has performed tests on safety-related systems in more than a dozen nuclear power plants in the U.S.

He has published more than 100 journal and conference papers, a textbook, and holds one patent. Dr.

Holbert is a registered professional (nuclear) engineer (P.E.). Keith is a member of the American Nuclear

Society (ANS) and the American Society for Engineering Education, and a Senior Member of the IEEE

(Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). Keith is the Chair of the Arizona Section of the ANS

and the Director of the Nuclear Power Generation Program at ASU. Dr. Holbert presently holds a Guest

Scientist affiliation with Los Alamos National Laboratory. Professor Holbert teaches undergraduate and

graduate engineering courses on electric power generation (from all forms of energy), nuclear reactor

theory and design, nuclear power plant controls and diagnostics, reactor safety analysis, and health

physics and radiation measurements. Besides teaching awards at ASU, Dr. Holbert was recently

recognized with the IEEE Transactions on Education Best Paper award for 2010.

Affiliations and Expertise

Associate Professor, Arizona State University; Senior Member, IEEE; registered Professional (nuclear) Engineer

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