Nuclear Power

How it works.

What do you need to know about Nuclear Chemistry?

  • Radioactivity-Radiation resulting from radioactive decay.
  • Half-Life-The half-life is the amount of time it takes for half of the atoms in a sample to decay.*(N=No(1/2)^n)

*N=the remaining amount

No=the initial amount

n=the number of half-lives that have passed.




  • Fusion-The process of binding smaller atomic nuclei into a single,larger, more stable nucleus.(i.e, the sun)
  • Fission-the splitting of nucleus into a smaller more stable fragments with a large release of energy.(i.e nuclear power plants)
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Types of radioactive decay

Alpha- The nucleus ejects an alpha particle which is made of 2 neutrons and 2 protons*(Identical to the nucleus of a helium atom). Alpha particles can be stopped by a sheet of paper.This is the least dangerous type.


Beta- a beta particle is a high energy electron; it has more energy than an alpha particle. a beta particle.A beta particle can be stopped by aluminum foil.There are three types of beta decay:

  1. Regular beta
  2. Reverse beta
  3. Electron beta

Gamma- Gamma rays are high energy x-rays.They can be stopped by led.Gamma rays have a lot of energy and are very harmful to living cells.

What is Nuclear Energy?

How does it work?

When the nucleus of a large atom is split apart, or when two small nuclei are joined together, nuclear energy is given out.
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Where is it used?

Mostly used in nuclear power plants, where fission is used.
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