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.
These devastating physical effects come from the atomic bomb’s blast, the atomic bomb’s thermal radiation, and the atomic bomb’s nuclear radiation. An atomic bomb is any weapon that gets its destructive power from an atom. This power comes when the matter inside of the atoms is transformed into energy. The process by which this is done is known as fission. The only two atoms suitable for fissioning are the uranium isotope U-235 and the plutonium isotope Pu-239 (Outlaw Labs).
The Atomic Bomb The research for the first Atomic bomb took place in the United States, by a group of nuclear engineers; the name of this research was called, “The Manhattan Project”. On July 16, 1945, the detonation of the first atomic bomb was tested near Los Alamos, New Mexico. As the atomic bomb was detonated, it sent shock-waves across the globe, which demonstrated that nuclear power would forever change the meaning of war. To create a nuclear bomb, nuclear fission must occur. The process of nuclear fission was splitting the nucleus of an atom.
So, a ball of hydrogen is surrounded by either uranium or plutonium and then by a non-nuclear explosive. The explosive is set off, and it causes the uranium or plutonium to react through fission, which in turn causes the hydrogen to fuse. Once again, the result is a colossal explosion meant for mass destruction. The three main effects that would follow a nuclear explosion are blast, thermal radiation or heat, and radiation. The very first thing to happen is the formation of a fireball.
The first type derives the majority of its energy from nuclear fission reactions alone. Weapons whose explosive output is obtained only from fission reactions are commonly referred to as atomic bombs or atom bombs (abbreviated as A-bombs). The first atomic bomb was used by the United states during the Cold War and was called ‘Little Boy’ (Wikipedia 2014). Figure 1.1 shows the structure of a gun type fission weapon similar to the ‘little boy’ bomb. The second type uses fission reactions to begin nuclear fusion reactions which in turn produce a large amount of the total energy output.
But unlike the radiation in the environment the radiation that people receive is measured in rem. Radioactive decay is when an atomic nucleus spontaneously breaks down releasing energy and matter in the process. This happens because a radioisotope’s have unstable nuclei that don’t have a strong enough binding energy to hold the nucleus together. Radioisotopes try to be stable so they constantly change and attempt to stabilize, and in this process they release energy and often transform into a new element. There are two different kinds of nuclear reactor fission and fusion reactors.
the fission that is produced is when a heavy element splits in half or is halved into two smaller nuclei, the power of the fission is located by the rate of the splitting of the nuclei at once which causes watts of electricity to be forced into the energy type. Energy that is released by the nuclear fission matches almost completely to that of the properties of kinetic fission particles, only that the properties of the nuclear energies nucleus are radioactive. These radioactive nucleuses can be contained and used as fuel for the power. Most of this power is fueled by uranium isotopes. These isotopes are highly radioactive.
The most important isotope is plutonium 239, or Pu-239. When struck by a neutron, this isotope undergoes a process called fission. In fission, When struck by a neutron, the nucleus of the plutonium atom is split into two nearly equal parts, and energy is released. Although the energy released by one atom is not much, the splitting of the nucleus releases more neutrons, which strike more plutonium atoms. This process, called a chain- reaction, produces enormous amounts of energy.
Commonly the nucleus splits into Barium and Krypton; however, it can split into any two atoms as long as the number of protons equals the original amount of the protons found in the Uranium. In addition, a mass amount of energy is released along with two or three neutrons. It is these neutrons that can begin a chain reaction, each neutron that is given off could collide with another Uranium atom splitting it apart. Each of these fissioning atoms releases a very large amount of energy, and some more neutrons. This process continues causing a chain reaction withut any outside assistance, and the Uranium has "gone critical"(Martindale, 794-195).
The Atomic Bomb The atomic bomb is a powerful, explosive nuclear weapon. It is fueled by the fission of the nuclei of specific amounts of plutonium or uranium, in a chain reaction. The strength of the explosion created by one of these bombs is equal to the strength of an explosion created by thousands of tons of TNT. To detonate one of these bombs, enough mass of plutonium or uranium must be provided to reach what is known as "critical mass." Critical mass is the mass at which the nuclear reactions going on inside the material can make up for the neutrons that are leaving the material through its outside surface.