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Nuclear Engineering Information

As a branch of engineering, nuclear engineering focuses on studying the atomic nuclei and its applications. When studying the breakdown of the atomic nuclei, principles of nuclear physics are also being used. Forming part of important elements of this engineering field is the maintenance and interaction of nuclear fission components and systems. Apart from nuclear physics, the field also focuses on nuclear fusion, thermodynamics, radiation safety, the effects of radioactive waste in the environment and nuclear proliferation.

Professional areas of nuclear engineering

First on the list is nuclear fission. This is defined as the study of the disintegration of the fissile atom's nucleus forming into two elements that are smaller than its original state. The disintegration leads to the formation of other particles such as neutrons. Commonly, this type of professional area in the field includes thermal fission, one that is used in commercial reactors.

Second is nuclear fusion. This one is correlated with plasma physics and includes research areas in the fields of plasma dynamics, radiation-resistant materials and high temperature. As of the present, international research in nuclear fusion involves the building of the ITER, or a tokamak prototype. This focuses on refining instabilities and diverter design.

A third profession in the field of nuclear engineering is nuclear medicine (an important subfield in medical physics). Apart from nuclear medicine, health medicine, radiation therapy as well as diagnostic imaging are also included. Medical physics, in general, is the study behind x-ray machines, PET, MRI and all other modern medicine diagnostic devices. Together with these devices, this profession also assesses possible treatment options for certain ailments.

Other important aspects in nuclear engineering

Nuclear engineering focuses more on researches relevant to the field. One particular aspect of the study includes research on nuclear materials. This field has two main subject areas. The first one is on the improvement of nuclear fuels since these are critical in making sure that nuclear reactors remain to be effective. The second main subject is the research of irradiation effects for the purpose of studying reactor components, nano-modification of metals and structural changes.

Radiation measurements are also being currently studied by nuclear engineers. Together with radiological scientists, the latter conceptualized things that will contribute to the development of advanced radiation detection and measurement systems. These advancements will later on be used in improving existing imaging technologies. The advancement focuses on fabrication and analysis, measurements of fundamental nuclear and atomic parameters, detector design and radiation imaging systems.

Affiliation with certain organizations

Nuclear engineering involves different professional fields. With this, a variety of organizations have been founded to support the studies related to this discipline. Some of the most notable ones are the American Nuclear Society, Nuclear Institute of UK and International Atomic Energy Agency.

It was not a long time ago since nuclear engineering has been perceived as the study of how to build nuclear bombs. To erase the wrong notion, everybody should appreciate what the discipline is all about and that is, to focus on the study of radioactive materials and later on learn how to use these components in areas of nuclear medicine, power and industry.

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