Nuclear Energy

Nuclear Energy

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

7th Edition - January 28, 2014

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  • Authors: Raymond Murray, Keith Holbert
  • eBook ISBN: 9780124166363

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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


Product details

  • No. of pages: 576
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Butterworth-Heinemann 2014
  • Published: January 28, 2014
  • Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
  • eBook ISBN: 9780124166363

About the Authors

Raymond Murray

Nuclear Engineering Department, North Carolina State University, USA (deceased)

Affiliations and Expertise

Nuclear Engineering Department, North Carolina State University, USA

Keith Holbert

Keith Holbert is the founding director of the nuclear power generation program and an associate professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering at Arizona State University. He joined the ASU faculty in 1989 after earning his doctorate in nuclear engineering from the University of Tennessee. His research expertise is in instrumentation and system diagnostics including radiation effects on sensors. Holbert has performed tests on safety-related systems in more than a dozen nuclear power plants in the United States. He has published more than 200 journal and conference papers, two textbooks and holds one patent. Holbert is a registered professional (nuclear) engineer. He is a member of the American Nuclear Society and a Senior Member of the IEEE. 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. He has been the recipient of multiple teaching awards.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, Arizona State University; Senior Member, IEEE; registered Professional (nuclear) Engineer

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