nuclear energy

GC: n

CT: The common definition for nuclear energy is the energy released by a nuclear reaction, especially by fission or fusion. Practically speaking, nuclear energy uses fuel made from mined and processed uranium to make steam and generate electricity.
Nuclear generation is the only source of electricity that can produce large amounts of power – known as baseload power—reliably without emitting greenhouse gases.
Nuclear energy has one of the lowest environmental impacts on land and natural resources of any electricity source.

S: (last access: 8 February 2015)

N: 1. nuclear (adj): 1846, “of or like the nucleus of a cell,” from nucleus + -ar, probably by influence of French nucléaire. Use in atomic physics is from 1914; of weapons, from 1945. Hence nuclear physics (1933), nuclear energy (1941), nuclear war (1954).
energy (n): 1590s, “force of expression,” from Middle French énergie (16c.), from Late Latin energia, from Greek energeia “activity, action, operation,” from energos “active, working,” from en “at” + ergon “work, that which is wrought; business; action”.
Used by Aristotle with a sense of “actuality, reality, existence” (opposed to “potential”) but this was misunderstood in Late Latin and afterward as “force of expression,” as the power which calls up realistic mental pictures. Broader meaning of “power” in English is first recorded 1660s. Scientific use is from 1807. Energy crisis first attested 1970.
2. Outline History of Nuclear Energy:

  • The science of atomic radiation, atomic change and nuclear fission was developed from 1895 to 1945, much of it in the last six of those years.
  • Over 1939-45, most development was focused on the atomic bomb.
  • From 1945 attention was given to harnessing this energy in a controlled fashion for naval propulsion and for making electricity.
  • Since 1956 the prime focus has been on the technological evolution of reliable nuclear power plants.

3. Energy released in nuclear reactions or transitions.

  • atomic energy (term to be avoided in this sense).
  • nuclear energy: term and definition standardized by ISO in 1997.

4. Nuclear energy may refer to:

  • Nuclear power, the use of sustained nuclear fission to generate heat and electricity.
  • Nuclear binding energy, the energy required to split a nucleus of an atom.
  • Nuclear potential energy, the potential energy of the particles inside an atomic nucleus.

Depending on context, the term “nuclear power” also means électricité d’origine nucléaire (Electricity – Nuclear Power Stations), énergie nucléoélectrique (Nuclear Power Stations) and puissance nucléaire (Military Organization; CBRNE Weapons) in French.
5. Nuclear power is generated using Uranium, which is a metal mined in various parts of the world.
The first large-scale nuclear power station opened at Calder Hall in Cumbria, England, in 1956.
Some military ships and submarines have nuclear power plants for engines.
Nuclear power produces around 11% of the world’s energy needs, and produces huge amounts of energy from small amounts of fuel, without the pollution that you’d get from burning fossil fuels
6. Nuclear power stations work in pretty much the same way as fossil fuel-burning stations, except that a “chain reaction” inside a nuclear reactor makes the heat instead.
The reactor uses Uranium rods as fuel, and the heat is generated by nuclear fission: neutrons smash into the nucleus of the uranium atoms, which split roughly in half and release energy in the form of heat.
Carbon dioxide gas or water is pumped through the reactor to take the heat away, this then heats water to make steam.
The steam drives turbines which drive generators.
Modern nuclear power stations use the same type of turbines and generators as conventional power stations.
7. Cultural Interrelation: We can mention, two films, among others,The Day After (1983) by Nicholas Meyer and The Manhattan Project (1986) by Marshall Brickman.

S: 1. OED –; (last access: 8 February 2015). 2. (last access: 8 February 2015). 3. TERMIUM PLUS. 4. (last access: 8 February 2015); GDT (last access: 31 March 2015); TERMIUM PLUS (last access: 31 March 2015); FCB. 5 & 6. (last access: 8 February 2015). 7. (last access: 31 March 2015); (last access: 31 March 2015).

SYN: nuclear power (UK)

S: (last access: 8 February 2015)

CR: becquerel , burial ground, chlorofluorocarbon, containment, depleted uranium, electron , energy, enriched uranium, gamma radiation, lepton , linear accelerator, magnetic confinement, muon , natural uranium, neutrino , nuclear accident, nuclear fusion, nuclear power plant, nuclear reactor, polonium , primary energy, proton , quark , radioactive contamination, radioactive decay, radioactive waste, radioactivity, rainout, synchrotron, toroidal magnetic chamber, uranium , X-rays.