Unit 15 - Nuclear Chemistry
Terms in this set (25)
the process by which two smaller atoms join to create a new, larger atom, releasing energy. Our sun, Sol, fuses hydrogen to make Helium.
the splitting of larger atoms to produce smaller atoms with a release of energy. Atomic bombs and nuclear reactors use this.
different versions of the same element which have different numbers of neutrons. Some are stable, others are unstable (radioactive).
a radioactive (unstable) isotope of an element.
the process by which unstable elements release energy and matter to become stable isotopes.
the amount of radioactive material necessary to start a sustained (self-feeding) nuclear chain reaction.
the amount of time it takes for half of a radioisotope to undergo decay.
" α ", a helium nucleus with a mass of 4 and a charge of +2 ejected from super-heavy elements.
" γ ", high-frequency light with no mass or charge. Released by atoms which need to lose energy to become stable.
" β ", a high energy electron released by a decaying atom. Formed as a neutron decays to give a proton (remains in nucleus and an electron (ejected from atom). Mass of 0, charge of -1.
a large device used to convert the heat energy from nuclear fission of uranium into electrical energy using steam-driven turbines. This is a controlled release of energy.
made of neutron-absorbing materials and used to control the rate of fission in a nuclear reactor.
a catastrophic failure of a nuclear reactor in which the fuel rods of a reactor overheat and toxic radiation is released to the environment. Ex. Chernobyl.
a continuous, self-sustaining fission reaction.
to release, to give off.
H-3, one of two hydrogen isotopes used to power nuclear fusion.
H-2, one of two hydrogen isotopes used to power nuclear fusion.
H-1, common hydrogen, not typically used for fusion power.
the only fissile isotope of uranium found abundantly in nature.
the most common isotope of uranium, not fissile. Used to create Pu-239 in nuclear reactors.
the absorption of a particle in a nuclear reaction.
nuclear binding energy
the massive amounts of energy required to hold the neutrons and protons together in the nucleus. Larger atoms contain more binding energy.
the mass that goes "missing" when two smaller atoms fuse to become a larger atom. This mass is converted into nuclear binding energy.
a bundle of fissile material (such as U-235 pellets) inserted into nuclear reactors to generate energy.
emergency shutdown of a nuclear reactor by fully inserting all control rods. "Safety control rod axe man".
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