Nuclear power

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  • Nuclear Power
    • Fission
      • Splitting up big atomic nuclei
        • creates daughter nuclei
        • A neutron at high speed is fired at a big atom to split it apart, creating two daughter nuclei
          • slow moving neutrons are called thermal neutrons
      • Needs and releases a lot of energy
      • Is a chain reaction
        • Uncontrolled reaction makes a bomb
        • Controlled reaction is a nuclear reactor
        • To slow down the reaction you take away neutrons
      • Nuclear Reactors
        • neutrons are slowed down by uranium fuel rods to prevent chain reactions
        • fuel rods are placed inside moderators
        • Control rods absorb excess neutrons
        • waste can be stored in glass boxes or pools of water
    • Fusion
      • Sticking together atoms
        • Two light nuclei collide at high speed and join.
        • Hydrogen fuses to make Helium
        • only happens at high pressure and temperature
        • you loose positrons
      • Occurs in the sun
        • Produces energy in Gamma rays
        • Nothing on earth can recreate it yet.
    • Pros and Cons
      • Pros
        • Less need for fossil fuels
        • Doesn't release greenhouse gasses so its cleaner energy in that sense
        • nuclear fuel is cheap
        • Can produce lots of energy for little material
      • Cons
        • Waste has long half lives so its radioactive for hundreds of years
        • Waste can pollute the planet
        • Potentially dangerous
        • Overall high cost


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