nuclear energy

Nuclear energy

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The energy obtained from the nucleus of an atom is called nuclear energy. The source of energy is same in both types of nuclear reaction is same. Certain mass is disappearing in this type of reaction mainly in the form of energy.

The difference in the mass of reactant and product is called mass defect, which appear in the form of nuclear energy according to Einstein by equation: E = mc2 . This equation was derived by Albert Einstein in 1905.

  1. Nuclear fusion

It is the phenomenon of combining of two or more lighter nuclei to form a more stable heavy nucleus with the liberation of vast amounts of energy.

Such nuclear reactions are the source of energy in the sun other than stars. These reactions are called Thermo nuclear reaction.

  • It is used in formation of Hydrogen Bomb. There is extremely high temperature near about 107degree. It is quite more powerful than hydrogen bomb.
  • Two deuterons can join to form triton and a proton with release of 4.03Mev energy. The nuclear reaction is

 2H1 + 2H1                                              3H1 + 1H1 + 4.03Mev

  • Two deuteron can join together to form a helium nucleus and a neutron and it is represented as:

2H1 + 2H1                                               3He2 + 1n0 + 3.27Mev

  • Nuclear fission

The phenomenon of splitting of an unstable nucleus of a heavy atom into two lighter nuclei with the liberation of an enormous amount of energy. This occurs when it bombarded with neutron.

  • This phenomenon was discovered by Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman in the year 1939.
  • 235U92 + 1n0                                      139Ba56 + 94kr36 + 31n0 + E
  • Energy produced by burning of one kilogram of uranium is equal to the energy produced by burning of 2500 tons of coal.
  • Nuclear power plant in India, Tarapur in Maharashtra, Kalpakkam in Tamil Nadu, etc. Nuclear Bomb or Atomic Bomb based on the phenomenon of nuclear fission.

1Mev = 1.602 × 10-13J

1U = 1.492 × 10-10J


  • It produce large amount of energy from small amount of nuclear fuel.
  • Once the nuclear fuel loaded into the reactor, nuclear power plant can on producing electricity for two to three years.


  • Leakage of nuclear radiation from reactor.
  • Disposal of nuclear wastes.