Talk:Decay energy

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Possible merge of Decay heat and Decay energy[edit]

In April 2010, an anonymous editor posted merge suggestion boxes on these two articles.

I oppose such a merge for a couple of reasons. First, the subjects aren't quite the same. Decay energy is about the decay process and its energy, but not about what becomes of the energy; note some of that energy can be carried off in gamma rays. Decay heat is about the heat characteristics over time of macroscopic quantities of radioactive elements (where substantially all energy released by decay manifests as heat).

Second, the articles address different audiences and concerns. One is concerned with understanding the nuclear physics of individual decay events. The other with with the practical thermodynamic issues of dealing with a heat source with the heat generation characteristics of a mix of quantities of various radioactive materials. Clarity is not enhanced by cramming these two treatments together into one article. -R. S. Shaw (talk) 06:26, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

I also oppose the merge, for the same reason stated by R. S. Shaw. Decay heat is a subtopic of Nuclear power generation. Decay energy is a subtopic of Nuclear reaction or Radioactive decay. In fact, there is already Nuclear reaction#Energy conservation which covers the same calculations. My suggestion is to expand this article or start a new Nuclear energetics article which covers the energy calculations common to all nuclear reactions (fission, fusion, capture, decay), goes over the basics of Mass-energy equivalence and Nuclear binding energy, and then discuss the issues of going from a single reaction to the more complicated cases of Nuclear reactor physics or Decay chain. (talk) 23:59, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

I too oppose the merge. As stated above, decay energy is a nuclear physics concept, while decay heat is a nuclear engineering concept. Engineers designing reactor safety systems or spent fuel storage facilities do not need to know or care about the details of energy release by individual disintegrations; their concern is with aggregate heat production and how to deal with it. There would be little added value in combining discussions of both concepts in a single article, and it would make it more difficult to organize that article in a way that readers are not confronted with material that is irrelevant to their information needs and possibly confusing as well. Piperh (talk) 07:59, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

This seems to be the consensus. I'll remove the tags. --Selket Talk 00:55, 17 March 2011 (UTC)