AP Environmental Science: Nuclear
Terms in this set (33)
two atoms of the same element with different numbers of neutrons
An atom with too many protons or neutrons that spontaneously emits particles from its nucleus
Type of radioactive decay, is a helium nuclei, stopped by skin
Type of radioactive decay, electrons stopped by clothing, glass, or aluminum
Type of radioactive decay, the most harmful type of energy, electromagnetic radiation that can go through the body, several centimeters of lead or a meter of concrete
The amount of energy absorbed by a person (measured in grays)
Time it takes for half of a radioactive substance to decay
Has a short half-life, is an immediate/serious threat, and decays into a stable element sooner
Has a long half-life, is a non-immediate threat, and has a long term storage problem
How radiation creates free radicals
Ionizing radiation damages cells by stealing electrons from their atoms which creates free radicals-turns them into ions
Three ways radiation exposure effects human health
Massive cell death, genetic mutations, cancers
Radiation risk assessment
The type of energy, how long the half-life is, the phase or state it is in, and its daughter isotopes
the worst phase or state of radioactive energy
the worst daughter isotopes
Splitting an atom with a neutron
Names of radioactive isotopes that can be split
U-235 and Pu-239
radioactive isotope that cannot be split
How is fission in a nuclear bomb different than fission in a nuclear power plant?
In a bomb, the chain reaction is not controlled
Boiling water reactor
In this reactor, the same loop serves as a moderator, coolant for the core, and a steam source for the turbine. Has 1 loop
Pressurized water reactor
In this reactor, the water which flows through the reactor core is isolated from the turbine. Has 2 loops
Liquid metal fast breeder reactor
In this reactor, a fission reaction occurs that produces heat to run a turbine while at the same time breeding plutonium for the reaction. Has 3 loops
Nuclear Fuel Cycle
Mining and Milling, Conversion, Enrichment, Fuel Fabrication, Nuclear Power Station, Storage, Reprocessing, Vitrification, Final Disposal
Why is nuclear power neither cheap nor fossil free?
Processing ore into concentrated fuel uses huge amounts of FFs. Processing/transport/long term storage also uses FFs and is dangerous and expensive. The governments around the planet have also spent billions on nuclear clean up.
heating of water reduces O2 levels in lakes, rivers, and the ocean
Three Mile Island
This nuclear accident was a partial meltdown and vented waste into the air. Happened in Harrisburg, PA ,1979.
In this nuclear accident the reactor blew up and resulted in a full meltdown.
Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
The 1000 square miles in Ukraine around the nuclear reactor that no one is allowed to live within.
This nuclear accident was a partial meltdown with a massive release of fallout and contaminated seawater.
The process of dismantling and burying nuclear power plants. Although, Nuclear power plants last 20-30 years and are highly radioactive at the end of their lives and before they can be decommissioned you have to wait 100 years. This is costly for future generations.
High level waste and location
Fuel rods are this and are supposed to be stored in Yucca Mountain.
Low level waste and location
Gloves count as this kind of waste and they are located in Washington, South Carolina, and Nevada
The mountain that the government wants to store high level nuclear waste in, but it has not been completed because Nevada does not want it in their "backyard".
Nuclear reaction in which two or more atomic nuclei collide at a very high speed to form a new type of atomic nucleus. The same process as in stars.