What is the difference between a nuclear plant and an atomic one?

I thought they were one and the same.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/nov/27/nuclear-power-reactor-design?CMP=AFCYAH

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3 Responses to “What is the difference between a nuclear plant and an atomic one?”

  1. conradslater said:

    yes I think they are the same. I suspect the writer used the word atomic to avoid repeating the word nuclear in the same sentence.

  2. physicist said:

    There’s no difference. The reactions used to produce power in an nuclear reactor actually occur in the nucleus but since the nucleus is part of the atom the terms are used indistinguishably.

  3. Nuclear expert said:

    A nuclear power reactor is used to make electricity. There are some nuclear reactors that are used for other purposes (e.g., make radioisotopes for medicial use).

    The term atomic means the same thing as nuclear, but is a bit archaic.

    We also use the term nuclear weapons and atomic weapons to mean explosive devices that exploit nuclear fission or fusion.




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