Nuclear Energy



Nuclear energy technology was developed and reached maturity in the second half of the twentieth century. It was founded on the discoveries and contributions of many renowned scientists such as Thompson, Roentgen, Becquerel, Curie, Bohr, Rutherford, Einstein, and others, which led to the formation (over a period of about 75 years, between 1875 and 1950) of new areas of physics such as nuclear physics and quantum mechanics. On the one hand, nuclear and quantum physics provided a thorough understanding of the laws of matter, and on the other hand they supported the development of various engineering applications, among which production of controlled nuclear heat in nuclear reactors appears to be the most important. Nowadays, nuclear energy is used to produce heat, which powers electricity generation plants and generates power for marine vessels propulsion or extraterrestrial spacecrafts.


Heat Pump Nuclear Energy Fuel Assembly Heat Engine Uranium Dioxide 


\( A \)

Atomic mass (AMU)

\( c \)

Speed of light (m/s)


Coefficient of performance

\( e \)

Specific energy (J/kg)

\( {e_{\rm{x}}} \)

Specific energy (J/kg)

\( E \)

Energy (J)

\( \Delta {E_{\rm{b}}} \)

Binding energy (MeV)

\( h \)

Height (m)


Higher heating value (kJ/mol)

\( k \)

Thermal conductivity (W/mK)


Lower heating value (kJ/mol)

\( m \)

Mass (kg)

\( n \)

Number of elements

\( N \)

Number of atoms or particle density

\( q \)

Heat amount per unit of mass (J/kg)

\( r \)

Radial coordinate (m)

\( R \)

Radius (m)

\( t \)

Time (s)

\( T \)

Temperature (K)

Greek Letters

\( \eta \)

Energy efficiency

\( \varepsilon \)

Dissipation parameter

\( \psi \)

Exergy efficiency

\( \sigma \)

Cross section (cm2)

\( \phi \)

Radiation particle flux

\( \varphi \)

Carnot abatement



Initial or environment










Heat engine


Heat pump


Heat recovery










\( \mathop{{(\,)}}\limits^. \)

Per unit of time (rate)

\( (\,\,)^{\prime\prime} \)

Per unit of surface

\( (\,\,)^{\prime\prime\prime} \)

Per unit of volume

\( \mathop {{(\,)}}\limits^\wedge \)

Dimensionless value


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering & Applied ScienceUniversity of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT)OshawaCanada

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