Nuclear energy has many uses in industrial area. Nuclear energy is used in the manufacture of nuclear density gauge, tracing elements and gamma radiography.
One of the industrial applications of nuclear energy is the manufacture of the nuclear density gauge. Nuclear density gauge has a radiation source that emits beam of particles directed in a certain area. In addition, the gauge contains a sensor whose main function is to count particles that are reflected by a test material or particles that pass through it. Such device can be used to determine the density of liquid flowing in a particular pipe. Considering the above use, a source of nuclear radiation is placed on one side of a pipe whose liquid density is to be measured. A detector is placed on the other side of the pipe. The amount of radiation recorded on the detector is used to determine the density of the liquid flowing in a particular pipe. Nuclear density gauge can also be used to determine the compaction of a particular soil. Soil compaction is important since compaction determines how strong the foundation of buildings and roads is. Such property helps to prevent a particular building from collapsing due to weak foundation. Nuclear density gauge also measures the amount of moisture that may be present in a particular soil. The gauge releases neutrons at a fast speed, which are slowed down when they interact with hydrogen present in soil moisture.
Nuclear energy is also used as tracing element in industries. Radioactive materials can be detected easily even if they occur in small quantities. The above property makes it easy for production managers and other engineers to easily trace small leaks that may occur in complex systems for example power generating plants. According to chemical engineers, easy detection of radioactive materials makes it possible to trace the progress of a radioactive material through complex path (Murray 28). While tracing radioactive materials, the half-life of the radioisotope that chosen to perform the actual trace should be sufficient and long enough to provide the information that may be required. Since small amounts of radioisotopes can be used as tracers in process materials, engineers are able to determine the rate of corrosion in particular processing equipment. In addition, the tracing ability of radioisotopes makes the measuring of the velocity of fluids that may be passing through a particular pipe to be possible.
Nuclear energy is also used in gamma radiography in industries. Gamma radiography aims at inspecting industrial materials in order to establish whether these materials contain any hidden flaws. Gamma radiography uses small pallets of any material that is radioactive sealed in a titanium capsule in order to produce gamma rays (Murray, 94). Gamma sources of radioactive beams are preferred to perform the task of identifying flaws in materials since they produce high energy. In addition, these sources emit beams that have discrete wavelengths. Engineers dealing with the construction of gas and oil pipelines use gamma radiography. In case they weld a gas or oil pipeline, they have to tape a special film over the welt on the pipe. Oil and gas pipe has to be tested in order to identify whether it has any flaws due to welding. A pipe crawler is used to transport a radioactive material into the welded area. The radioactive material is exposed remotely and the film produces a radiographic material of the weld. Experts later examine the film to determine whether it has any flaws.
To conclude, nuclear energy is used in industries in the manufacture of density gauge, trace elements and gamma radiography. Density gauges are used to measure the density of liquids flowing in a particular pipe. They are also used to measure soil compactness. Nuclear energy is also used to trace whether there are leaks in pipes. Gamma radiography is used to determine flaws in industrial materials.