Chapter: Environmental Science and Engineering

Nuclear Energy

India has 10 nuclear reactors, which produce 2% of India’s electricity.


India has 10 nuclear reactors, which produce 2% of India’s electricity.


1 Nuclear Fission


Heavier nucleus is split into lighter nuclei, on bombardment by fast moving neutrons, and a large amount of energy is released.


Fission of U235

When U235 nucleus is hit by a thermal neutron, it undergoes the following reaction with the release of 3 neutrons.


Each of the above 3 neutrons strikes another U235 nucleus causing (3x3) 9 subsequent reactions. These 9 reactions further give rise to (3x9) 27 reactions.


This process of propagation of the reaction by multiplication in threes at each fission is called chain reaction.


Fission reaction of U235 is given below.

92U235 +0n1           →      36Kr92  +  56Ba141  + 3 0n1  + energy


2 Nuclear fusion:


Lighter nucleuses are combined together at extremely high temperatures to form heavier nucleus and a large amount of energy is released.


Fusion of H21 .Two hydrogen-2 (Deuterium) atoms may fuse to form helium at 1 billion0C with the release of large amount of energy


1H2+1H2 →  3He2+0n1+energy


Nuclear power of India



Ranapratap Sagar (Rajasthan)


Kalpakkam (Tamilnadu)

Narora (U.P).



 Why Alternate (Renewable) Energy Sources are required?


The importance of solar energy can be emphasized particularly in view of the fact that fossil fuels and other conventional sources are not free from environmental implications.


least pollution, safety and security snags and are universally available have the best enhance of large scale utilization in future


Hydro-electric power generation is expected to upset the ecological balance existing on earth Besides space heating, hydel power plants critically pollute the aquatic and terrestrial biota. Radioactive pollutants released from nuclear power plants are chronically hazardous.


The commissioning of boiling water power reactors (BWRS) have resulted in the critical accumulation of large number of long lived radionuclides in water\


The dangerous radiowaste cannot be buried in land without the risk of polluting soil and underground water.


Nor the waste can be dumped into the rivers without poisoning aquatic life and human beings as well The burning of coal, oil, wood, dung cakes and petroleum products has well debated environmental problems. The smoke so produced causes respiratory and digestive problems leading to lungs, stomach and eye diseases.


The disposal of fly ash requires large ash ponds and may pose a severe problem considering the limited availability of land. Thus the non-conventional sources of energy are needed.



To provide more energy to meet the requirements of increasing population.

To reduce environmental pollution

To reduce safety and security risks associated with the use of nuclear energy.


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