Definitions and Basic Principles

  • Bahman Zohuri
  • Patrick McDaniel


Nuclear power plants currently generate better than 20% of the central station electricity produced in the United States. The United States currently has 104 operating power-producing reactors, with 9 more planned. France has 58 with 1 more planned. China has 13 with 43 planned. Japan has 54 with 3 more planned. In addition, Russia has 32 with 12 more planned. Nuclear-generated electricity has certainly come into its own existence and is the safest, cleanest, and greenest form of electricity currently produced on this planet. However, many current thermodynamics texts ignore nuclear energy and use few examples of nuclear power systems. Nuclear energy presents some interesting thermodynamic challenges, and it helps to introduce them at the fundamental level. Our goal here will be to introduce thermodynamics as the energy conversion science that it is and apply it to nuclear systems. Certainly, there will be many aspects of thermodynamics that are given little or no coverage. However, that is true for any textual introduction to this science; however by considering concrete systems, it is easier to give insight into the fundamental laws of science and to provide an intuitive feeling for further study. For further information, please refer to references [1–4] at the end of this chapter.

Supplementary material


  1. 1.
    Y.A. Cengel, M.A. Boles, Thermodynamics an Engineering Approach, 6th edn. (McGraw Hill, Boston, 2008)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    J.R. Elliott, C.T. Lira, Introductory Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics (Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River NJ, 1999)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    J.S. Hseih, Principles of Thermodynamics (McGraw Hill, New York, 1975)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    M.J. Moran, H.N. Shapiro, Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics, 6th edn. (John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ, New York, 2008)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bahman Zohuri
    • 1
  • Patrick McDaniel
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Galaxy Advanced Engineering, Inc.University of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA
  2. 2.Department of Chemical and Nuclear EngineeringUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

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