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Conceptual questions

Explain why the fission of heavy nuclei releases energy. Similarly, why is it that energy input is required to fission light nuclei?

Explain, in terms of conservation of momentum and energy, why collisions of neutrons with protons will thermalize neutrons better than collisions with oxygen.

The ruins of the Chernobyl reactor are enclosed in a huge concrete structure built around it after the accident. Some rain penetrates the building in winter, and radioactivity from the building increases. What does this imply is happening inside?

Since the uranium or plutonium nucleus fissions into several fission fragments whose mass distribution covers a wide range of pieces, would you expect more residual radioactivity from fission than fusion? Explain.

The core of a nuclear reactor generates a large amount of thermal energy from the decay of fission products, even when the power-producing fission chain reaction is turned off. Would this residual heat be greatest after the reactor has run for a long time or short time? What if the reactor has been shut down for months?

How can a nuclear reactor contain many critical masses and not go supercritical? What methods are used to control the fission in the reactor?

Why can heavy nuclei with odd numbers of neutrons be induced to fission with thermal neutrons, whereas those with even numbers of neutrons require more energy input to induce fission?

Why is a conventional fission nuclear reactor not able to explode as a bomb?

Problem exercises

(a) Calculate the energy released in the neutron-induced fission (similar to the spontaneous fission in [link] )

n + 238 U 96 Sr + 140 Xe + 3 n,

given m ( 96 Sr ) = 95.921750 u and m ( 140 Xe ) = 139.92164 . (b) This result is about 6 MeV greater than the result for spontaneous fission. Why? (c) Confirm that the total number of nucleons and total charge are conserved in this reaction.

(a) 177.1 MeV

(b) Because the gain of an external neutron yields about 6 MeV, which is the average BE/ A for heavy nuclei.

(c) A = 1 + 238 = 96 + 140 + 1 + 1 + 1, Z = 92 = 38 + 53 , efn = 0 = 0 size 12{A=1+"238"="96"+"140"+1+1+1,`Z="92"="38"+"53",`"efn"=0=0} {}

(a) Calculate the energy released in the neutron-induced fission reaction

n + 235 U 92 Kr + 142 Ba + 2 n,

given m ( 92 Kr ) = 91 . 926269 u and m ( 142 Ba ) = 141 . 916361 u .

(b) Confirm that the total number of nucleons and total charge are conserved in this reaction.

(a) Calculate the energy released in the neutron-induced fission reaction

n + 239 Pu 96 Sr + 140 Ba + 4 n ,

given m ( 96 Sr ) = 95 . 921750 u and m ( 140 Ba ) = 139 . 910581 u size 12{m \( "" lSup { size 8{"140"} } "Ba" \) ="139" "." "910581"`u} {} .

(b) Confirm that the total number of nucleons and total charge are conserved in this reaction.

(a) 180.6 MeV

(b) A = 1 + 239 = 96 + 140 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1, Z = 94 = 38 + 56 , efn = 0 = 0 size 12{A=1+"239"="96"+"140"+1+1+1+1,`Z="94"="38"+"56",`"efn"=0=0} {}

Confirm that each of the reactions listed for plutonium breeding just following [link] conserves the total number of nucleons, the total charge, and electron family number.

Breeding plutonium produces energy even before any plutonium is fissioned. (The primary purpose of the four nuclear reactors at Chernobyl was breeding plutonium for weapons. Electrical power was a by-product used by the civilian population.) Calculate the energy produced in each of the reactions listed for plutonium breeding just following [link] . The pertinent masses are m ( 239 U ) = 239.054289 u , m ( 239 Np ) = 239.052932 u , and m ( 239 Pu ) = 239.052157 u .

238 U + n 239 U + γ 4.81 MeV

239 U 239 Np + β + v e 0.753 MeV

239 Np 239 Pu + β + v e size 12{"" lSup { size 8{"239"} } "Np" rightarrow "" lSup { size 8{"239"} } "Pu"+β rSup { size 8{ - {}} } +v rSub { size 8{e} } } {} 0.211 MeV

The naturally occurring radioactive isotope 232 Th size 12{"" lSup { size 8{"232"} } "Th"} {} does not make good fission fuel, because it has an even number of neutrons; however, it can be bred into a suitable fuel (much as 238 U size 12{"" lSup { size 8{"238"} } U} {} is bred into 239 P size 12{"" lSup { size 8{"239"} } P} {} ).

(a) What are Z size 12{Z} {} and N size 12{N} {} for 232 Th size 12{"" lSup { size 8{"232"} } "Th"} {} ?

(b) Write the reaction equation for neutron captured by 232 Th and identify the nuclide A X produced in n + 232 Th A X + γ .

(c) The product nucleus β size 12{β rSup { size 8{ - {}} } } {} decays, as does its daughter. Write the decay equations for each, and identify the final nucleus.

(d) Confirm that the final nucleus has an odd number of neutrons, making it a better fission fuel.

(e) Look up the half-life of the final nucleus to see if it lives long enough to be a useful fuel.

The electrical power output of a large nuclear reactor facility is 900 MW. It has a 35.0% efficiency in converting nuclear power to electrical.

(a) What is the thermal nuclear power output in megawatts?

(b) How many 235 U size 12{"" lSup { size 8{"235"} } U} {} nuclei fission each second, assuming the average fission produces 200 MeV?

(c) What mass of 235 U size 12{"" lSup { size 8{"235"} } U} {} is fissioned in one year of full-power operation?

(a) 2 . 57 × 10 3 MW size 12{2 "." "57" times "10" rSup { size 8{3} } `"MW"} {}

(b) 8.03 × 10 19 fission/s size 12{8 "." "04" times "10" rSup { size 8{"19"} } `"fission/s"} {}

(c) 991 kg

A large power reactor that has been in operation for some months is turned off, but residual activity in the core still produces 150 MW of power. If the average energy per decay of the fission products is 1.00 MeV, what is the core activity in curies?

Questions & Answers

do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Physics for the modern world. OpenStax CNX. Sep 16, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11865/1.3
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