Nuclear Physics, Nuclear Energy & Survival of Planet Earth

Dinesh Srivastava Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre Kolkata 700 064

Guru Govind Singh Indraprastha University, April 2009.

Earth is a very special planet  The sun is a long-lived,
stable star.

 Earth is at ideal distance
from the sun.

 Atmosphere & water.  Asteroid impact created
the moon, and set it rotating on its axis.

 Another asteroid killed

dinosaurs, making room for mammals.

India and Himalaya
• The Geology of the Himalaya is a record of the most dramatic and visible creations of modern plate tectonic forces. • The Himalayas, which stretch over 2400 km, are the result of an ongoing collision between two continental tectonic plates. • The Himalayas are still growing at the rate of 1cm/year.

Variation of Radon-222 emission during 16-21 December 2004 at Bakreswar, before tsunami, hit Southern Asia, Das et al, Current Science 89 (2005) 1399.

n m m = 0.18% p
Free neutron decays with 15 minutes half-life. Neutrons bound in atomic nuclei can be stable. If the neutron were only 0.15% lighter or 0.3% heavier, the stability and abundance of nuclei would be seriously affected.



However, there are no stable elements having A=5 or 8.

Life is carbon (12 C) based. 1 2 C is produced in stars:
8 4

He He


1 2


1 2




+ γ -ray

Fusion process needs a resonance in 12 C at 7.65 MeV. Requires fine-tuning of nuclear force to within (± )4%. First postulated by Sir Fred Hoyle to overcome gaps in periodic table at A=5 and 8.

Ra di oa ct ive D ec a yo fU ra ni um

The Magnetic Field of the Earth
• The Earth's magnetic field is shaped roughly as a magnetic dipole, with the poles currently located close to the planet's geographic poles. • The field is generated within the molten outer core region where heat creates convection motions of conducting materials, generating electric currents. These in turn produce the Earth's magnetic field. • The field forms the magnetosphere, which deflects particles in the solar wind. • Once the core gets cold, due to burn-up of nuclear fuel, this magnetic field will vanish, exposing earth to radiations!

Earth’s Magnetic Field Saves us from Cosmic Rays

A cosmic ray approaching earth first encounters its magnetic field, which repels it all together or deflects it. As the core of the earth gets cooler due to reducing radioactivity, this protecting shield will vanish!

The Green House Effect

•Without this heat-retention effect, the average surface temperature would be −18 °C and life would perhaps not exist.

ses up to 14 litres/100 km of oil and runs about 20,000 km/year

the density of oil as about 1 kg/litre, this would produce 0x(14/100)x(44/16) =7700 kg of CO2/year.

were 250 million cars in USA alone in 2004 ( 12 million in 1960), to emission of 1925 million tonnes of CO2. USA has about 1/3 of cars in the world, so, the annual emission in 2004 was about illion tonnes In 2004. It is rising at the rate of 2.5% per year.

al emission in 2007 was about 28,000 million tonnes in 2007!

an average family of 4 could produce up to 254 tonnes of CO2/pe ou calculate the food, heating, electricity, cars etc.

eed about 100 medium size trees/month to convert this into oxy acre of forest.

cover is decreasing at the alarming rate of 10% per year.

The snout of the glacier at Gaumukh from where the Bhagirathi emerges: Glaciers in the Himalayas are receding faster than in any other part of the world and, if the present rate continues, they may disappear by the year 2035.

Global Warming: Ignore at Your

Own Peril

( Base 1956).

The Antarctic is no loger cold.

Heating of the World

The Nobel Peace Prize 2007

Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 was shared, in two equal parts, between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.

Carbon Capture & Storage

1. Existing oil and gas fields: enhance yield by exerting pressure 2. Depleted oil and gas fields 3. Deep saline geological formations: carbon dioxide dissolves in saline water and forms carbonate

Life expectancy at birth

The Human Development Index; combines normalized measures of life expectancy, literacy, educational attainment, and GDP per capita for countries worldwide.

Population Map of the World

Fossil fuels lead to global warming and also release radioactivity in the air. A 1300 MW thermal power station will use 4.6 million tonnes of coal per year and produce : • 14.5 million tonnes of CO2

• • • • • • •

1.3 million tonnes of ash 650,000 tonnes of gypsum 27000 tonnes of sludge 38000 tonnes of nitrous oxide 23000 tonnes of sulphur dioxide 1300 tonnes of particulate matter 6.5 tonnes of uranium!

Natural Uranium: 99.2 % U-238 Up to 5 billion years 0.7 % U-235 f U-238 in fast reeder reactors. Low Enriched Uranium (Reactor Grade) 3-4 % U-235 ast resources of h-232, which can Highly Enriched Uranium e bred into U-233. (Weapons Grade) 90 % U-235 usion reactors.

bout 70 years’ f low cost U-235.

A large nuclear power station with a net electrical capacity of 1300 MW requires about 25,000 kg of Low Enriched Uranium annually with a 235U concentration of 3.75%.

Nuclear energy, thus, is greenest source of energy. Solutions in sight

Three Stage Nuclear Power Programme of India

All the three stages are in operation at Kalpakkam- MAPS, FBTR, and Kamini.

The future of Earth

•The future of the planet is closely tied to that of the Sun. As a result of the steady accumulation of helium ash at the Sun's core, the star's luminosity will increase, leading to loss of oceans. •But even if the Sun were eternal and stable, the continued internal cooling of the Earth would result in a loss of much of its atmosphere and oceans (due to lower volcanism). After another billion years the surface water will completely disappear. •The Sun, as part of its solar lifespan, will expand to a red giant in about 5 Gyr. It will expand out to about 99% of the distance to the Earth's present orbit and most (if not all) existing life will be

Our search for life in the solar system
• We have learned a great deal about the earliest life here on Earth • All the planets in our own solar system have been explored by spacecraft • We have collected rocks from the Moon • We have meteorites from Mars • The climates and habitability of many of the other planets is now understood at some level • We have started discovering planets around other stars • We have found that life thrives in places once thought to be inhospitable.

Chandrayaan-1 Mission Phase LOI


ETO: 240 X 1,00,000 km


GTO: 240 X 36,000 MCC
3 , 86 , 00 0 Km

40 2 T: LT




Career with Department of Atomic Energy
For young men and women: •Who like challenges in frontline science and technology •Who like to be a part of expanding programme of nuclear reactors, accelerators, and fuel cycle technologies •Who enjoy pursuing innovative research in Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, or Biosciences

Career with Department of Atomic Energy
OCES: One year Orientation Course for Engineering graduates and Science post graduates starting in September every year at BARC Training Schools at •Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai • Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam •Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology, Indore • Nuclear Fuel Complex, Hyderabad. •Nuclear Training Centres at Kaiga, Kalpakkam, Kudankulam, Rawatbhata, and Tarapur.

On successful completion of training, you will be appointed as a Scientific Officer in any of the DAE units with opportunities for attractive career progression up to the highest echelons. Successful completion of course work at the Training School will entitle trainees to PostGraduate Diploma and also earn them credits towards MTech/ MPhil/ PhD of Homi Bhabha National Institute, provided their performance is above a specified threshold.
Do not forget that the construction of nuclear reactors will be done by industry.

DGFS: Two year DAE Graduate Fellowship Scheme for Engineering Graduates and Post-Graduates in Physics for joining M Tech Course in specified specialisations starting in July every year at IIT Bombay, Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, and Roorkee. You will be absorbed in DAE after this.

Ph. D. Programme of Homi Bhabha National Institute (Deemed University). JEST or GATE or NET & Interview Join for Ph. D. at BARC, VECC, IGCAR, RRCAT, IPR, IMsc, IOP, SINP in Physics, Chemistry, Life Sciences, Strategic Studies, Mathematics, Engineering (all branches).

Diploma in Radiation Protection: Graduates in Physics or Chemistry. One year course. Measure, certify, control, advise, plan usage of radiation in hospitals, reactors, nuclear laboratories, Industry…. You can not have radiation using equipments (even X-rays), till it is certified by Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, an autonomous body.

And finally, K. S. Krishanan Research Associate-ship Scheme
Ph. D in Physics, Chemistry, Life Sciences, and Engineering Or M. Tech + 2 years of experience: Most remunerative Post Doctoral Fellowship Scheme in the country. After 1 year you would be absorbed as Scientific Officer (D) with up to 5 increments or even Scientific Officer (E) depending on your performance You can play a crucial role in bringing prosperity and security to 110 crore people and transform India for ever. Welcome.

“There are two possibilities: either we are alone, or we are not. Both are equally frightening”- Isaac Asimov
Why should we care about life in the universe? This is one of the most profound issues facing humankind.

if even the most rudimentary life form (like microbes) can be found elsewhere in our universe the chances of life being common everywhere in the universe are dramatically increased. discovery of intelligent life would alter our place in the cosmos forever. The new science of astrobiology has become a major research effort in the last few years. It will likely play increasing role in pure astronomy and biology research. If we better understand what conditions life requires (and how rare these may be) maybe we will become better stewards of our own planet.

• •

Your generation will be the first to fully explore these possibilities, this might be your generation's greatest legacy.

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