Exam 4: chapter 7

What is nuclear fission?
Nuclear fision is the large splitting of nuclei into smaller particles.
Who gets the most electricity from Nuclear power plants?
France, with about 76%
Can either U-238 or U-235 undergo nuclear fission?
Only U-235 can undergo nuclear fission.
What is a chain reaction?
A chain reaction is a chemical reaction in which the product of one reaction becomes the reactant in the next
What is critical mass?
critical mass is the amount of a substance needed for a chain reaction to occur
How does a nuclear power plant operate?
What is radioactivity?
Radioactivity is a spontanious emission of radiation by certain elements

What is a beta particle?

an alpha particle?

a gamma ray?

A beta particle is a high speed electron. Beta particles can penetrate paper.

An alpha particle consists of 2 protons and 2 neutrons. Alpha particles can barely penetrate paper.

A gamma ray is a ray that gives off electromagnetic radiation. Gamma rays can penetrate almost anything except lead.

What is a radioactive decay series?
A characteristic pathway of radioactive decay that begins with a radioisotope and progresses through a series of steps to eventually produce a stable isotope.
What happened at Chernobyl?
During a test on electricity in reactor 4, the power going to the reactor fell down to almost nonexistant levels. On top of that, the Boron filled control rods were lifted out of the reactor vessel, allowing for a rapid increase of heat, causing a meltdown, and chemical reaction, and ultimately, a chemical explosion.
What happens if you get hit by radiation?
You get radiation sickness
All types of radiation are ionizing radiation
What is background radiation?
normal levels of radiation we are exposed to everyday. Radon is a major cause of this radiation
Know this pie chart

Radiation Absorbed dose = RAD

REM= Roentgen Equivalent Man

What is enriched uranium?
Uranium that has a higher percent of U-235 than its natural abundance of about 0.7%
Know the nuclear fuel cycle
Radioactive + isotope = radioisotope

Whar are control rods?

What is a primary coolant?

what is a moderator?

What is a secondary coolant?

Control rods- Rods made of an element that is a good neutron absorber.

Primary coolant- A coolant that comes in direct contact with the fuel rods

Moderator- in a nuclear reaction, something that slows the neutrons, thus making them more efficient in producing fission

Secondary coolant- The water in the steam generators that does not come in contact with the reactor