Nuclear Fission and Fusion

Adam Collinge
Flashcards by Adam Collinge, updated more than 1 year ago
Adam Collinge
Created by Adam Collinge over 7 years ago



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Question Answer
What is nuclear fission? Splitting up of big atomic nuclei
How do nuclear power 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 t drive a steam turbine connected to an electricity generator
What is the fuel usually used in a nuclear generator? Uranium-235
What needs to happen for nuclear fission to occur? A slow moving neutron must be absorbed into a uranium or plutonium nucleus. This addition of a neutron makes the nucleus unstable causing it to split
What happens each time uranium or plutonium nucleus split up? They spit out two or three neutrons, one of which may hit another nucleus, causing it to split also , and thus keeping the chain going
What happens when a large atom splits in two? It will form two new similar nuclei. These new nuclei are usually radioactive as they have the wrong number of neutrons in them
Why is nuclear technology much more powerful than chemical technology? Because it releases a lot more energy
Give three disadvantages of using nuclear thecnology 1) It's expensive and difficult to dispose of 2) The overall cost is high and dismantling a nuclear power plant safely can take decades 3) It carries the risk of leaks or catastrophic events
What is nuclear fusion? The joining of small atomic nuclei
Give three advantages for using nuclear fusion? 1) There is a lot of fuel available 2) It doesn't leave as much waste as nuclear fission 3) Spare hydrogen can also be used for fuel
Give two disadvantages of using nuclear fusion 1) It can only work at high temperatures like 10 million degrees 2) An extremely strong magnetic field is needed to hold hydrogen at the right temperatures and pressures
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