Nuclear fission is the process in which a nucleus spits into two or more smaller nuclei. Nuclear reactors use a controlled chain reaction to produce electricity. The rate at which the chain reaction occurs can be controlled by manipulating the amount of non-fissionable material present. Uranium-235 is the only naturally occurring isotope that undergoes fission. The energy released through nuclear fission is 20 million times more than the energy released burning fossil fuels. The critical mass is the maximum size a sample of uranium ore can reach. If the sample is larger then the critical mass it will start an uncontrolled reaction. 99.3% of uranium ore is made up of uranium-238 and 0.7% is uranium-235.
Nuclear fusion is the process in which two nuclei fuse together to form a larger nuclei. Hydrogen atoms are usually used in fusion reactions. Fusion releases more energy than fission but can only occur when the nuclei are very hot. The temperature needed for fusion reactions is about 20,000,000°C. Fusion reactors are also called thermonuclear reactors because of the high temperatures. Fusion occurs in three stages; in the first stage two hydrogen nuclei join to form deute...
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...ts shut down to avoid damage. Nuclear reactors are designed so that earthquakes and other natural disasters will not damage the reactors.
Nuclear power provides a safer alternative for the production of electricity for large scale consumption. The two different types of nuclear reactions are fission reactions and fusion reactions. Fission reactions are the process in which a nucleus splits, forming two smaller nuclei and fusion reactions are the process in which two nuclei fuse together forming a larger nuclei. Nuclear reactors use controlled nuclear reactions to produce electricity. Nuclear energy is a more efficient energy source than any other available energy sources. The Three Mile Island nuclear disaster brought about sweeping changes in many areas of nuclear safety. Nuclear reactors have been designed to automatically shut down in the case of an earthquake.
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