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29 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What is nuclear energy?
Energy of the Atomic Nucleus.
What is fission?
Splitting of atomic nuclei.
What is fusion?
combining or fusing of atomic nuclei.
What is an isotope?
Atoms of an element that have the same atomic number, but different atomic mass.
What is a radioisotope?
Form of chemical element that spontaniously undergoes radioactive decay.
What are the three isotopes of uranium?
U-238, U-235, U-234
Which is used in nuclear power plants and how is it processed in order to be used as fuel?
U-235 is needed, so fuel is enriched to 4% U-235.
What is radiation?
Energy given off by radioactive decay.
Describe the three major types of radiation.
Natural: cosmic, Natural: people, Medical
What is radioactive decay? half-life?
radioisotope changes from one isotope to another emitting radiation. Time required for half th amount of a substance to disapear.
What are the units used to measure radiation and dosage?
Sieverts and revs
What is background radiation and how much are people exposed to annually?
naturally occurring in environment
2 mSv/year
What are some of the sources and amounts of anthropogenic radiation exposure?
· X-rays, medical tests, weapons testing, power plants
What are the environmental and human health effects of radiation?
lung cancer, leukemia, thyroid cancer
How do nuclear power plants work?
Reactor gives off energy that boils water. Steam turns turbine, which in ture turns a generator.
What is a burner reactor?
It is a very inefficiant nuclear reactor that produces a lot of waste.
What is a breeder reactor?
designed to produce new nuclear fuel while still producing energy.
How is it different from a burner reactor?
It is more efficiant
What is a meltdown?
nuclear fuel overheats, melts core and vessel
What happened at Three Mile Island?
· pump malfunction compounded by human error
,partial meltdown, small release of radioactivity (1 mSv)
What happened at Chernobyl?
What is the difference between high-level and low-level nuclear waste?
High is fuel waste, low is tools used with high.
How are these types of nuclear waste currently handled?
Geological disposal or underwater storage.
What are the issues with storage of waste at the Sharon Harris Plant?
What is the nuclear fuel cycle?
releases could occur at any point
What are some of the problems associated with the nuclear fuel cycle?
What are the advantages of nuclear energy?
Cleaner than that of combustion.
What are the disadvantages of nuclear energy?
Potentionally harmful if errors are made.
What is the future of nuclear power in the United States?
Increased use, development of new nuclear technologies (breeder reactor)