<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Another much more beneficial way to create fusion reactions is in a fusion reactor    , a nuclear reactor in which fusion reactions of light nuclei are controlled. Because no solid materials are stable at such high temperatures, mechanical devices cannot contain the plasma in which fusion reactions occur. Two techniques to contain plasma at the density and temperature necessary for a fusion reaction are currently the focus of intensive research efforts: containment by a magnetic field and by the use of focused laser beams ( [link] ). A number of large projects are working to attain one of the biggest goals in science: getting hydrogen fuel to ignite and produce more energy than the amount supplied to achieve the extremely high temperatures and pressures that are required for fusion. At the time of this writing, there are no self-sustaining fusion reactors operating in the world, although small-scale controlled fusion reactions have been run for very brief periods.

Two photos are shown and labeled “a” and “b.” Photo a shows a model of the ITER reactor made up of colorful components. Photo b shows a close-up view of the end of a long, mechanical arm made up of many metal components.
(a) This model is of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) reactor. Currently under construction in the south of France with an expected completion date of 2027, the ITER will be the world’s largest experimental Tokamak nuclear fusion reactor with a goal of achieving large-scale sustained energy production. (b) In 2012, the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory briefly produced over 500,000,000,000 watts (500 terawatts, or 500 TW) of peak power and delivered 1,850,000 joules (1.85 MJ) of energy, the largest laser energy ever produced and 1000 times the power usage of the entire United States in any given moment. Although lasting only a few billionths of a second, the 192 lasers attained the conditions needed for nuclear fusion ignition. This image shows the target prior to the laser shot. (credit a: modification of work by Stephan Mosel)

Key concepts and summary

It is possible to produce new atoms by bombarding other atoms with nuclei or high-speed particles. The products of these transmutation reactions can be stable or radioactive. A number of artificial elements, including technetium, astatine, and the transuranium elements, have been produced in this way.

Nuclear power as well as nuclear weapon detonations can be generated through fission (reactions in which a heavy nucleus is split into two or more lighter nuclei and several neutrons). Because the neutrons may induce additional fission reactions when they combine with other heavy nuclei, a chain reaction can result. Useful power is obtained if the fission process is carried out in a nuclear reactor. The conversion of light nuclei into heavier nuclei (fusion) also produces energy. At present, this energy has not been contained adequately and is too expensive to be feasible for commercial energy production.

Chemistry end of chapter exercises

Write the balanced nuclear equation for the production of the following transuranium elements:

(a) berkelium-244, made by the reaction of Am-241 and He-4

(b) fermium-254, made by the reaction of Pu-239 with a large number of neutrons

(c) lawrencium-257, made by the reaction of Cf-250 and B-11

(d) dubnium-260, made by the reaction of Cf-249 and N-15

(a) 95 241 Am + 2 4 He 97 244 Bk + 0 1 n ; (b) 94 239 Pu + 15 0 1 n 100 254 Fm + 6 −1 0 e ; (c) 98 250 Cf + 5 11 B 103 257 Lr + 4 n 0 1 ; (d) 98 249 Cf + 7 15 N 105 260 Db + 4 0 1 n

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

How does nuclear fission differ from nuclear fusion? Why are both of these processes exothermic?

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Both fusion and fission are nuclear reactions. Why is a very high temperature required for fusion, but not for fission?

Two nuclei must collide for fusion to occur. High temperatures are required to give the nuclei enough kinetic energy to overcome the very strong repulsion resulting from their positive charges.

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Cite the conditions necessary for a nuclear chain reaction to take place. Explain how it can be controlled to produce energy, but not produce an explosion.

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Describe the components of a nuclear reactor.

A nuclear reactor consists of the following:
1. A nuclear fuel. A fissionable isotope must be present in large enough quantities to sustain a controlled chain reaction. The radioactive isotope is contained in tubes called fuel rods.
2. A moderator. A moderator slows neutrons produced by nuclear reactions so that they can be absorbed by the fuel and cause additional nuclear reactions.
3. A coolant. The coolant carries heat from the fission reaction to an external boiler and turbine where it is transformed into electricity.
4. A control system. The control system consists of control rods placed between fuel rods to absorb neutrons and is used to adjust the number of neutrons and keep the rate of the chain reaction at a safe level.
5. A shield and containment system. The function of this component is to protect workers from radiation produced by the nuclear reactions and to withstand the high pressures resulting from high-temperature reactions.

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

In usual practice, both a moderator and control rods are necessary to operate a nuclear chain reaction safely for the purpose of energy production. Cite the function of each and explain why both are necessary.

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Describe how the potential energy of uranium is converted into electrical energy in a nuclear power plant.

The fission of uranium generates heat, which is carried to an external steam generator (boiler). The resulting steam turns a turbine that powers an electrical generator.

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

The mass of a hydrogen atom ( 1 1 H ) is 1.007825 amu; that of a tritium atom ( 1 3 H ) is 3.01605 amu; and that of an α particle is 4.00150 amu. How much energy in kilojoules per mole of 2 4 He produced is released by the following fusion reaction: 1 1 H + 1 3 H 2 4 He .

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Questions & Answers

what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
China
Cied
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
Porter
many many of nanotubes
Porter
what is the k.e before it land
Yasmin
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
Cesar
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
AMJAD
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
AMJAD
what is system testing
AMJAD
what is the application of nanotechnology?
Stotaw
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
Azam
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
Prasenjit
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
Azam
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
Prasenjit
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
Damian
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
Damian
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
Azam
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
Ali Reply
the Beer law works very well for dilute solutions but fails for very high concentrations. why?
bamidele Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Good
The eyes of some reptiles are sensitive to 850 nm light. If the minimum energy to trigger the receptor at this wavelength is 3.15 x 10-14 J, what is the minimum number of 850 nm photons that must hit the receptor in order for it to be triggered?
razzyd Reply
A teaspoon of the carbohydrate sucrose contains 16 calories, what is the mass of one teaspoo of sucrose if the average number of calories for carbohydrate is 4.1 calories/g?
ifunanya Reply
4. On the basis of dipole moments and/or hydrogen bonding, explain in a qualitative way the differences in the boiling points of acetone (56.2 °C) and 1-propanol (97.4 °C), which have similar molar masses
Kyndall Reply
Calculate the bond order for an ion with this configuration: (?2s)2(??2s)2(?2px)2(?2py,?2pz)4(??2py,??2pz)3
Gabe Reply
Which of the following will increase the percent of HF that is converted to the fluoride ion in water? (a) addition of NaOH (b) addition of HCl (c) addition of NaF
Tarun Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Ut austin - principles of chemistry. OpenStax CNX. Mar 31, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11830/1.13
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Ut austin - principles of chemistry' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask