Welcome to 5-Minute Nuclear

Hello and welcome!

Are you ready to learn about the many wild things that make up the world? How to burn a rock to power a nation? Add an alpha emitter to an antibody to cure a cancer? You will come to realize not everything “nuclear” is bad. In fact, you will begin to see how different nuclear processes save many lives every day. How a relatively small amount of refined ore does the work of a hundred train-loads of “dirty” coal while at the same time transforms coal utilization.

The promise of 5MN is that you don’t need to be a genius to get it. Clearly presented knowledge is easily attainable. You can learn what nuclear isotopes are, how nuclear reactors work, about the historical and political nature of the nuclear industry in power and medicine, classical and modern physics, the Standard Model that explains almost everything, and so much more!

Together, we will explore the exciting details of the fundamental physics in surprisingly clear ways. We will grab knowledge in stride and realize this isn’t as daunting as it might seem. Expect and enjoy a full explanation of the elements of our amazing universe. Succinct, easy-to-understand examples make otherwise difficult but vital natural facts clear and enjoyable. Joy in energy and medical technology security for our children’s futures and for their children and all the future generations for hundreds and thousands of years! This is nuclear.

All things in life come back to the nuclear realm, which many people consider beyond their grasp. Sure, the world is full of fascinating but complex facts and ideas. Let’s pick one.

How about fluorine? It makes great non-stick cookware for the kitchen. Fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash prevent cavities. Fluorites used in steelmaking for smelt flux improve flow—fluo  in Latin. Uranium hexafluoride is key to the nuclear industries. Fluorides can even keep the lights on? Oh yes! An actual nature-made miracle. Especially fluoride salts that form a revolutionary nuclear reactor designone safer and that produces very little waste next to the operating reactors presently cranking out 20% of our U.S. grid supply 24/7 always on. Wild!

What is fluorine and why is its nucleus so special? Like helium that is by nature lighter than air, the fluorine nucleus is naturally invisible to neutrons. Fluorine comes that way in nature ready-made! Invisibility to neutrons makes fluorine perfect for that special nuclear reactor design—not solid but fluid fueled!

Fluorine’s nucleus with its nine protons naturally “likes” just ten neutrons and that’s it!—its only natural isotope. The fluorine nucleus is happy, stable, and secure forever  with its 19 nuclear particles called nucleons  glued together by the strong nuclear force. We name the subnucleon strong force carrier the “gluon”really!

Most of the natural chemical elements—defined by the number of protons in their nuclei“accept” one or more extra neutrons to form other so-called isotopes. Hydrogen (symbol H) is the very first most simple chemical element that is a single proton called protium. The next element after hydrogen is helium (symbol He from the Greek sun-god Helios). Helium with its two protons and two neutrons is mostly 4 nucleons but can lose a neutron and become He-3 that other than H-1 is the only stable isotope of any element with more protons than neutrons! We roll with natural exceptions. Gotta love nature!

These examples already show crucial fundamentals of nuclear engineering capable of building reactors safer than the present fleet.  Clean, abundant nuclear energy explained in five-minute articles—5MN.

If you see references to dead links or empty content, this is a sign that the content is not yet finalized but is in the pipeline. Please bear with us as we write the many articles. Feel free to comment, offer feedback, or ask any questions you might have. We’re a part of a very important point in our technological history together to build safer, and necessary nuclear power that also supports medical isotopes.

Without further ado, simply use the menu to navigate the site. We organize articles from the basic to the more involved through submenus under development.


Alex Kernan, Founder

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