Physics 2 - Nuclear Fusion and Fission

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  • Created by: Sash
  • Created on: 22-05-13 21:32

Nuclear Fusion and Fission

Nuclear Fission

Nuclear power stations generate electricity stations generate electricity using nuclear reactors. In a nuclear reactor, a controlled chain reaction takes place in which atomic nuclei split up and release energy in the form of heat. This heat is then simply used to heat water to make steam, which is used to rive a steam turbine connected an electricty generator. The "fuel" that's split is usually Uranium-239 or Uranium-235.

Chain Reactions

  • For nuclear fission to happen, a slow moving neutron must be absorved into a uranium or plutonium nucleaus. This addition of a neutron makes the nucleus unstable, causing it to split.
  • Each time a uranium or plutonium nucleus splits up, it spits out two or three neutrons, one of which might hit another nucleus, causing it to split also, and thus keeping the chain reaction going.
  • When a large atom splitsin two it will form two smaller nuclei. These new nuclei are usually radioactive becayse they…


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