the energy released by a fission or fusion reaction; the binding energy of the atomic nucleus
a nuclear reaction in which a massive nucleus splits into smaller nuclei with the simultaneous release of energy
the act of fusing (or melting) together
the emission of energetic particles or rays from unstable atomic nuclei; includes positively charged alpha particles, negatively charged beta particles, and high energy, electromagnetic gamma rays
nuclear fuel cycle
The process involved in producing the fuel used in and disposing of radioactive wastes (also called nuclear wastes).
The process by which uranium ore is refined after mining to increase the concentration of fissionable U-235
a device that uses controlled-fission chain reactions to produce energy or radioactive nuclides
primary water circuit
heats water, using the energy produced by the fission reaction
secondary water circuit
converts water to steam after boiling it
tertiary water circuit
provides cool water to the condenser
the part of a nuclear reactor where nuclear fission occurs
breeder nuclear fission
A type of nuclear fission in which nonfissionable U-238 is converted to fissionable P-239.
a grant or contribution of money, especially one made by a government in support of an undertaking or the upkeep of a thing
The used fuel elements that were irradiated in a nuclear reactor.
low-level radioactive wastes
Any radioactive solid, liquid, or gas that gives off small amounts of ionizing radiation.
high-level radioactive wastes
radioactive solids, liquids, or gases that initially give off large amount of ionizing radiation
low-level radioactive policy act
Passed in 1980, the act that specified that all states are responsible for the waste they generate. It encouraged states to develop facilities to handle low-level radioactive wastes by 1996.
nuclear waste policy act
(1982) U.S. government must develop a high level nuclear waste site (Yucca Mtn)
solidifying liquid waste into solid glass or ceramic logs
to dismantle an old nuclear power plant after it closes