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Nuclear Power . Locations of Nuclear Power plants in the US. Locations of Nuclear Power plants in the World. Do Nuclear Power plants Pollute?. No they don’t. This is Steam being released. . Nuclear Power Plant Operation. Uranium ore. Nuclear Reactor Fuel. Uranium ore is refined then

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nuclear reactor fuel
Nuclear Reactor Fuel

Uranium ore is

refined then

formed into


nuclear reactor fuel1
Nuclear Reactor Fuel

These Pellets are

then put into Fuel

rods which are

Assembled Into

packs of Fuel Rod


parts of an atom
Parts Of an Atom
  • Protons
  • Neutrons
  • electrons

Protons have a positive

charge and are located

in the nucleus of the atom.


Neutrons are located in

the nucleus and have

no charge



  • Electron are found on
  • The outside of the atom.
  • An electrically balanced
  • atom will have the same
  • number of electrons
  • and protons
what is nuclear decay
What is Nuclear Decay?

Nuclear decay is when the nucleus goes through a splitting process called nuclear Fission resulting in a different element(s) along with other products including ionizing radiation.

ionizing radiation
Ionizing Radiation
  • Ionizing radiation is produced by unstable atoms. Unstable atoms differ from stable atoms because they have an excess of energy or mass or both.
  • Unstable atoms are said to be radioactive. In order to reach stability, these atoms give off, or emit, the excess energy or mass. These emissions are called radiation.
4 types of ionizing radiation
4 types of ionizing Radiation
  • Alpha  Helium Nucleus
  • Beta  Electron
  • Gamma  EM Radiation
  • Neutrons N0

These are other products that

can be produced along with the new element


Ionizing Radiation

alpha particle

beta particle

Radioactive Atom



gamma ray

alpha radiation
Alpha radiation 
  • Nucleus of a helium atom
  • Symbolically represented: 
  • Chemically written: 4He2
  • Least Destructive Radiation
  • Can be stopped by a sheet of thick paper
alpha particles
Alpha Particles

Alpha Particles: 2 neutrons and 2 protons

They travel short distances, have large mass

Only a hazard when inhaled

beta radiation
Beta radiation 
  • Electron
  • Symbolically represented: 
  • Chemically written: e-
  • More Destructive than Alpha Radiation
beta particles
Beta Particles

Beta Particles: Electrons or positrons having small mass and variable energy. Electrons form when a neutron transforms into a proton and an electron or:

gamma radiation
Gamma radiation 
  • High energy Electro-Magnetic Radiation
  • Symbolically represented: 
  • Most Destructive Radiation
  • Very difficult to stop
gamma rays
Gamma Rays

Gamma Rays (or photons): Result when the nucleus releases

Energy, usually after an alpha, beta or positron transition

neutron radiation
Neutron Radiation
  • High energy radiation
  • Symbolically written as n
  • Chemically written n0
  • Is a result of fission and/or fusion
  • Often produced in particle accelerators
  • New Evidence suggests that Neutrinos (neutron radiation) can travel faster than light
nuclear half life equation
Nuclear Half-Life Equation
  • Ni* (1/2)nt1/2 = Nf
  • Ni – Initial amount of radioactive material
  • nt1/2 -# of half-lives
  • Nf– Final amount of radioactive material

To get nt1/2, you must divide time given in problem by the half-life.

nuclear halflife examples
Nuclear halflife examples
  • Polonium210
      • Half Life: 138 days
      • Alpha decay 
  • Strontium90
      • Half Life: 28.5 years
      • Beta decay 
  • Cobalt60
      • Half Life: 5.27 years
      • Gamma decay 
alpha decay example
Alpha Decay  Example
  • Polonium210
      • Half Life: 138 days
      • Alpha decay 

If you have 48kg of Polonium 210, How much will be left after 138 days?

Ans: 24 kg

How much will be left after 276 days? (2 half lives)

Ans: 12 kg

How much will be left after 414 days? (3 half lives)

Ans: 6 kg

beta decay example
Beta Decay  Example
  • Strontium90
      • Half Life: 28.5 years
      • Beta decay 

If you have 30kg of Strontium 90, How much will be left after 28.5 years?

Ans: 15 kg

How much will be left after 57 years? (2 half lives)

Ans: 7.5 kg

How much will be left after 85.5 years? (3 half lives)

Ans: 3.75 kg

gamma decay example
Gamma Decay  Example
  • Cobalt60
      • Half Life: 5.27 years
      • Gamma decay 

If you have 1 kg of Cobolt 60, How much will be left after 5.27 years?

Ans: 0.5 kg

How much will be left after 10.54 years? (2 half lives)

Ans: 0.25 kg

How much will be left after 15.81 years? (3 half lives)

Ans: 0.125 kg