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Introduction to Nuclear Power (Chemical & Mechanical Engineering) [Hardcover]

G.F. Hewitt , John G. Collier

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Book Description

15 Jun 2000 Chemical & Mechanical Engineering

The authors of this text aim to educate the reader on nuclear power and its future potential. It focuses on nuclear accidents such as Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, and their consequences, with the understanding that there are safety lessons to be learned if nuclear power generation is going to be expanded to meet our growing energy needs.


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This book is written from an engineer's viewpoint, particularly that of a thermal engineer, that is, a design or research engineer concerned with heat production and utilization. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Introduction With Strong Emphasis On Thermal Aspects Of Nuclear Power 3 Feb 2009
By Robert I. Hedges - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"Introduction to Nuclear Power" is a well-written introduction to the mechanics and physics of commercial nuclear power reactors. The book has a very strong emphasis on thermal issues that can develop in nuclear plants, and lucidly explains the design considerations and challenges in various types of nuclear power plants (e.g. BWR, PWR, Magnox, AGR, etc.) as well as the engineered safety systems that make such reactors practical and safe to operate.

The book begins with a general overview of concepts and nuclear technology, then progresses rapidly into more detailed information. I found this book to have the best (and most comprehensible) introduction to two-phase flow issues in reactor cooling (p.70), which makes sense given the heat transfer angle the book frequently takes. Likewise the dangers of a positive void coefficient in Soviet RBMK plants (such as Chernobyl) are extremely well explained here (p.52), as are unique design features of these marginal designs. The explanation of the various type of control rods (manual and automatic control and regulation, radial power shaping, axial flux profiling, etc.) in an RBMK plant (p.53) is the best basic introduction to the subject I have yet seen.

There is a lot of text devoted strictly to safety systems and procedures, and a section dedicated to incidents in light water-cooled reactors, which is very helpful to those interested in nuclear safety. I especially appreciated the lengthy discussion devoted to Loss of Cooling Accidents (LOCA), to include small-break and large-break LOCA scenarios. These discussions are thoroughly illustrated, but some of the illustrations are difficult to grasp as the valve positions and liquid and steam phase flows are hard to see, and the discussion of the illustrations (pp.110-112) is not always totally clear. As a related aside, the book has sample problems at the end of the chapters in the event it is used as a college text. The examples used and subsequent questions are frequently discussed in inadequate detail to truly understand the issues being examined. They are fine to read and attempt to solve, but I generally found the discussions and sample problems at the chapter conclusions to be the weakest points in the book.

Overall this is a very good introduction to nuclear power that can be used as an introductory text or read by an educated reader with interest in the subject matter. The book's emphasis on safety and the complexity of heat transfer makes it especially valuable to safety professionals, and I recommend it without hesitation.
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