Nuclear Reaction Essay

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Definition of Key Terms Nuclear Power The use of nuclear processes (decay, fusion and fission) to generate energy in the form of useful heat and electricity. Fission reactions are currently further developed than other methods of producing nuclear energy; however it is believed that once nuclear fusion reactors are successfully developed to the extent to which they can function and produce substantial energy, they can be the leading form of energy production as they are substantially safer, more convenient and more efficient. Nuclear Fusion Reaction A nuclear reaction in which multiple nuclei of atoms collide at high speed, under high pressure and at a high temperature to form a new nucleus, releasing photons (light and energy) as this happens. Nuclear Fission Reaction A nuclear reaction in which the nucleus of an atom splits into smaller, or lighter, nuclei, producing free neutrons and photons, in the form of gamma rays. They release a large amount of energy. Radioactive Decay Radioactive decay is a process through which a nuclear of an unstable atom loses energy, by emitting radiation. A material that radioactively decays is considered to be a radioactive material. ITER ITER, Latin for ‘The Way’ and an acronym of International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, is a research and engineering project that is internationally run, and involves building the world’s largest nuclear fusion reactor. The seven member parties involved in the ITER project are the European Union (EU), India, Japan, China, Russia, South Korea and the United States, with the EU contributing 45% of the funds and the other nations contributing 9% each. While still currently under construction, ITER holds the potential to provide immense amounts of energy and... ... middle of paper ... ...e, as it was a bigger, more powerful machine than any of those that the US had developed. Thermonuclear (“hydrogen”) bombs A thermonuclear bomb is one type of nuclear bomb that releases atomic energy by a combination of nuclear fission – when the nucleus of an atom splits into smaller parts – and nuclear fusion – the collision and fusion of hydrogen nuclei at high temperatures and under high pressure to produce helium atoms. These primarily use the heat from nuclear fission to fuel nuclear fusion. Plasma Plasma is one of the four fundamental states of matter, along with solid, liquid and gas. Heating gas to very high temperatures under high pressure results in it turning into plasma. A great amount of understanding when it comes to plasma is a result of nuclear fission and fusion technology, as the isolation of plasma is a part of the process of nuclear fusion.
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