Nuclear Energy To Thermal Energy:How to Convert,Examples And Facts


In this article nuclear energy to thermal energy conversion,examples and facts are going to be illustrated.

To describe nuclear energy to thermal energy conversion at first we should start with nuclear fission reaction. Due to nuclear fission reactions uranium atoms that have heavy nuclei usually break into fragments. We all know that nuclear energy binds all the subatomic particles within a nucleus of an atom.

So whenever a nucleus breaks,it releases nuclear energy in the form of heat energy. The heat generator then produces water vapour which in turn activates the blades of the turbine.

How is nuclear energy converted to thermal energy

Usually a nuclear reactor controls nuclear fission reaction. In nuclear fission reaction an uranium atom splits into multiple fragments. This splitting of atoms releases energy in the form of heat energy.

                    92 U235           + 0n1    → 56Ba141     + 36Kr92   +3 0n1

These uranium atoms are accumulated together into sealed metal rods that are known as fuel rods. A fuel assembly is formed by accumulating 200 fuel rods. Many assemblies are piled up together to make a reactor core depending on their capacities.

These fuel rods are dipped into water inside the reactor container. They are used as both coolants and moderators. These fast neutrons that are produced in fission reactions decrease their speed and become slow with the help of the moderators. In this way the chain reactions are sustained within a nuclear reactor. This rate of the fission reaction can be controlled using control rods.

The heat generated in the fission reactions then boils the water and transforms it into steam. This steam in turn helps in rotating the blades of the turbine.

nuclear energy to thermal energy
Nuclear power plant from wikipedia

Nuclear energy to thermal energy examples

20+ examples of nuclear energy to thermal energy  equipped with their explanations are stated below:

Nuclear fission reactions

Nuclear fission reactions are the main source where nuclear energy to thermal energy conversion takes place. In this type of reaction heavy nuclei of uranium 235 is used. Sometimes this reaction becomes uncontrollable in nature and at that point of time the splitting rate of atoms remains very high which in turn produces a huge amount of thermal energy.

Nuclear fusion reactions

In nuclear fusion reactions two or more light nuclei combine to form a heavy nuclei. This is another example of nuclear energy to thermal energy conversion. The equation of this type of reaction is written below:

                                     1 H2+1 H22He3+0n1

Atom bomb

In an atom bomb also fission reactions occur to split nuclear atoms and to produce heat. In atom bombs about 15 percent of the total nuclear energy to thermal energy conversion takes place.

Hydrogen bomb or thermonuclear bomb

This is also another example of nuclear energy to thermal energy conversion. Only difference between atom bomb and hydrogen bomb is fission reaction takes place in atom bomb whereas fusion reaction takes place in hydrogen bomb.

Thermonuclear bomb from wikipedia

Nuclear warheads

Nuclear warheads are devices that release thermal energy as a result of explosion that is occured due to nuclear fission,fusion or combination of these two reactions. In this way nuclear energy is changed to thermal energy.

Nuclear warhead from wikipedia

Nuclear shells

Nuclear shells are associated with the nuclear artillery that are delivered by a cannon. Here in these shells the transformation of nuclear energy to thermal energy takes place.

Nuclear cruise missiles

These missiles are usually of short range and small payloads. Hence they are less powerful in nature. One example of this type of missile is AGM 86 ALCM.

Nuclear cruise missiles from wikipedia

Nuclear ship to ship missiles

This missile is also a well known example of nuclear energy to thermal energy conversion.

Nuclear surface to surface missiles

These missiles are usually launched from the ground to strike the target that is placed inside the sea or on the land. Rockets are defined as the unguided surface to surface missiles. They are usually of short range and they use fins to work.

Nuclear air to surface missiles

These missiles are usually launched from the aircraft to strike the target that is placed inside the sea or on the land.

Nuclear anti ship missiles

This type of a missile converts one part of  nuclear energy to thermal energy. These are guided missiles. They are used against ships.

The Sun

Fusion reactions occur here due to the extreme high temperature at the surface of the sun. Hydrogen atoms combine to form helium atoms and during this reaction some energy is lost. This energy is released as thermal energy.

Orange herald

This is an example of nuclear energy to thermal energy that is a fusion dependent fission nuclear weapon.

Nuclear ballistic missiles

It follows a trajectory named as ballistic trajectory to deliver the payload to the target.

Earth penetrating weapon

This is used to attack underground military bunkers. They are used to penetrate soil,rock etc to reach the underground target.

Earth penetrating weapon from wikipedia

Radioactive isotopes

When these isotopes decay a part of nuclear energy is converted to thermal energy.

Thermal atomic battery

This basically transforms thermal energy to electricity but the source of thermal energy is nuclear energy.

Exothermic nuclear reactions

In this type of a reaction energy is released in the form of thermal energy.

Endothermic nuclear reactions

In this type of a reaction energy is absorbed in the form of thermal energy. Whenever these reactions take place at a higher temperature a part of energy is lost. This lost energy is released as thermal energy.

Nuclear thermionic generators

In these generators thermal energy is usually changed into electricity and the source of thermal energy is nuclear energy.

Click to know more about Nuclear Energy To Radiant Energy or Nuclear Energy To Light Energy.

Ankita Biswas

Hi...I am Ankita Biswas. I have done my B.Sc in physics Honours and my M.Sc in Electronics. Currently, I am working as a Physics teacher in a Higher Secondary School. I am very enthusiastic about the high-energy physics field. I love to write complicated physics concepts in understandable and simple words. Let's connect through LinkedIn:https://www.linkedin.com/in/ankita-biswas-b95785230

Recent Posts