Nuclear Energy

  1. Nuclear fission
    the splitting of atoms of a heavier element into lighter elements
  2. nuclear fusion
    the joining of two lighter atoms into a heavier element
  3. Uranium
    nonrenewable fuel used in nuclear production.
  4. Fission reactions occur as
    particles called neutrons are released. The reactions are controlled when control rods are lowered between the fuel rods.

    Fission reactions release heat which boils water which produces steam which drives a turbine which produces an electrical current
  5. Isotope U-235
    fissionable isotope used in nuclear energy production
  6. Isotope U-238
    converted into Plutonium in a breeder reactor making it fissionable
  7. Coal V Uranium
    COAL- causes 1/3 of air pollution in US. Emits sulfur dioxide which causes acid rain

    URANIUM- produces little air pollution but extremely hazardous radioactive material. Costs less to produce than coal but the costs of building a safe nuclear reactor are very high
  8. Low-level radioactive waste
    wastes from nuclear power plants, research labs, hospitals, and industry
  9. High-level radioactive waste
    wastes from nuclear fission, cooling fluids found in a nuclear reactor (longer half life)
  10. Meltdown
    Radiation is released when the structure containing the uranium field melts, releasing radiation into surrounding environment
  11. Nuclear disastors
    • 3 Mile Island, Pennsylvania 1979
    • Chernobyl, Russia 1986
    • Fukushima Daiichi, Japan 2001
Card Set
Nuclear Energy
AP Environmental