Energy from the Nucleus- Additional Unit 6 science

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Energy from the Nucleus


Nuclear Fission

Fission is the splitting of a large Nucleus. During this process, heat is released.

Nuclear reactors use the heat from the fission of Uranium

If 1kg of Uranium-235 undergoes Nuclear fission it releases the same amount of energy as 2 milion Kg of coal!

Fission of Uranium sets up a chain reaction. If there are uranium nuclei present, it will keep releasing energy.

If this chain reaction happens too quickly and too much energy is released, a Nuclear bomb could be caused. Nuclear power stations are designed so this does not happen.

Uranium-235 is a naturally occurring element which has a special property. When a neutron is absorbed by the nucleus, the new heavier nucleus becomes unstable. It is unable to hold itself together so splits into two smaller nuclei and gives out three neutrons and a burst of energy.

A uranium neutron hits a uranium nucleus, causing the nucleus to divide into smaller nuclei and some more neutrons. These neutrons hit more uranium nuclei. (

A chain reaction involving uranium-235

Nuclear Powerstations

Nuclear powerstations use the same method as fossil fuel powered stations, just with Uranium.

The national grid (

1. Fuel is used to heat and the heat is used to boil water which is then turned into steam

2. The steam turns…


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