Nuclear fission and fusion

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Nuclear fission

Fission is another word for splitting. The process of splitting a nucleus is called nuclear fission

When a uranium-235 or plutonium-239 nucleus is hit by a neutron, the following happens:

the nucleus splits into two smaller nuclei, which are radioactive

two or three more neutrons are released

some energy is released

Uranium or plutonium isotopes are normally used as the fuel in nuclear reactors, because their atoms have relatively


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