Chapter 10

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
decontaominating and dissassembling a nuclear power plant and safely disposing of the radioactive materials
dose equivalent
the absorbed dose times a quality factor
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
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
energy that travels through space in the form of waves or particles
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