Definitions for nuclear fuel
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word nuclear fuel
fuel (such as uranium) that can be used in nuclear reactors as a source of electricity
Nuclear fuel is a material that can be 'burned' by nuclear fission or fusion to derive nuclear energy. Nuclear fuel can refer to the fuel itself, or to physical objects composed of the fuel material, mixed with structural, neutron moderating, or neutron reflecting materials. Most nuclear fuels contain heavy fissile elements that are capable of nuclear fission. When these fuels are struck by neutrons, they are in turn capable of emitting neutrons when they break apart. This makes possible a self-sustaining chain reaction that releases energy with a controlled rate in a nuclear reactor or with a very rapid uncontrolled rate in a nuclear weapon. The most common fissile nuclear fuels are uranium-235 and plutonium-239. The actions of mining, refining, purifying, using, and ultimately disposing of nuclear fuel together make up the nuclear fuel cycle. Not all types of nuclear fuels create power from nuclear fission. Plutonium-238 and some other elements are used to produce small amounts of nuclear power by radioactive decay in radioisotope thermoelectric generators and other types of atomic batteries. Also, light nuclides such as tritium can be used as fuel for nuclear fusion.
Find a translation for the nuclear fuel definition in other languages:
Select another language:
Discuss these nuclear fuel definitions with the community:
Word of the Day
Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?
Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:
"nuclear fuel." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2015. Web. 24 May 2015. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/nuclear fuel>.