Chapter 10

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21 terms

absorbed dose

the amount of energy absorbed by matter, measured in greys or rads

alpha radiation

a type of radiation consisting of a particle with two neutrons and two protons

beta radiation

a type of radiation consisting of electrons released from the nuclei of many fissonable items

boiling-water reactor

a type of light water reactor in which steam is formed directly in the reactor and is used to generate electricity

decommisioning

decontaominating and dissassembling a nuclear power plant and safely disposing of the radioactive materials

dose equivalent

the absorbed dose times a quality factor

fissionable

the property of the nucleus of some atoms that allows them to split into smaller particles

gamma radiation

a type of electomagnetic radiation that comes from disintegrating atomic nuclei

gas cooled reactor

a type of nuclear reactor that uses graphite as a moderator and carbon dioxide or helium as a coolant

heavy water reactor

a type if nuclear reactor that uses the hydrogen isotope deuterium in the molecular structure of coolant water

ionizing radiation

radiation that can dislodge electrons from atoms to form ions

moderator

material that absorbs the energy from neutrons released by fission

nuclear breeder reactor

nuclear fission reactor designed to produce radioactive fuel from nonradioactive uranium and at the same time release energy to use in the generation of electricity

nuclear fusion

the decomposition of an atom's nucleus with the release of particles and energy

nuclear reactor

a device that permits a controlled nuclear fission chain reaction

plutonium 239

a radioactive isotope produced in a breeder reactor and used as a nuclear fuel

pressurized water reactor

a type of light water reactor in which the water in the reactor is kept at high pressure and steam is formed in a secondary loop

radiation

energy that travels through space in the form of waves or particles

radioactive

describes unstable nuclei that release particles and energy as as they disintegrate

radioactive half-life

the time it takes for half of the radioactive material to spontaneously decompose

thermal pollution

waste heat that industries release into the environment

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