- energy released by reactions within atomic nuclei, as in nuclear fission or fusion. Also called atomic energy.[1925-30]
* * *Energy released from atomic nuclei in significant amounts.In 1919 Ernest Rutherford discovered that alpha rays could split the nucleus of an atom. This led ultimately to the discovery of the neutron and the release of huge amounts of energy by the process of nuclear fission. Nuclear energy is also released as a result of nuclear fusion. The release of nuclear energy can be controlled or uncontrolled. Nuclear reactors carefully control the release of energy, whereas the energy release of a nuclear weapon or resulting from a core meltdown in a nuclear reactor is uncontrolled. See also chain reaction, nuclear power, radioactivity.
* * *also called Atomic Energy,energy that is released in significant amounts in processes that affect atomic nuclei, the dense cores of atoms. It is distinct from the energy of other atomic phenomena such as ordinary chemical reactions, which involve only the orbital electrons of atoms. One method of releasing nuclear energy is by controlled nuclear fission in devices called reactors, which now operate in many parts of the world. (See nuclear reactor.) Another method for obtaining nuclear energy, controlled nuclear fusion, had not been perfected by the late 1980s. Nuclear energy has been released explosively by both nuclear fusion and nuclear fission (qq.v.).
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Nuclear energy — Power obtained by splitting heavy atoms (fission) or joining light atoms (fusion). A nuclear energy plant uses a controlled atomic chain reaction to produce heat. The heat is used to make steam run conventional turbine generators. California… … Energy terms
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Nuclear energy — usually means the part of the energy of an atomic nucleus, which can be released by fusion or fission or radioactive decay. Nuclear energy also may refer to: Nuclear binding energy, the energy required to split a nucleus of an atom. Nuclear… … Wikipedia
nuclear energy — uclear energy n. Energy derived from nuclear reactions; used at present especially of electrical power generated in atomic reactors, but encompassing also fusion energy. Syn: atomic energy, atomic power, nuclear energy, nuclear power. [WordNet… … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
nuclear energy — n. the energy released from an atom in nuclear reactions or by radioactive decay: esp. the energy released in nuclear fission or nuclear fusion … English World dictionary
nuclear energy — [n] nuclear power atomic energy, atomic power, nuclear fission power, nuclear fusion power, thermonuclear power; concept 520 … New thesaurus
nuclear energy — noun uncount energy that is produced when the structure of the central part of an atom is changed … Usage of the words and phrases in modern English
Nuclear energy — См. Ядерная энергия Термины атомной энергетики. Концерн Росэнергоатом, 2010 … Термины атомной энергетики
nuclear energy — noun the energy released by a nuclear reaction • Syn: ↑atomic energy • Hypernyms: ↑energy, ↑free energy • Hyponyms: ↑atomic power, ↑nuclear power * * * noun … Useful english dictionary