Nuclear Energy Facts



  • Nuclear energy is the huge amount of energy that holds together the nucleus of every single atom.
  • Nuclear energy fuels atom bombs and power stations – and every star in the Universe. It can be released either by fission or fusion.
  • Nuclear fusion is when nuclear energy is released by the joining together of nuclei – as inside stars, where they are squeezed together by gravity, and in hydrogen bombs.
  • Usually only tiny nuclei such as those of hydrogen and helium fuse. Only under extreme pressure in huge, collapsing stars do big nuclei like iron fuse.
  • Nuclear fission is when nuclear energy is released by the splitting of nuclei. This method is used in most power stations and in atom bombs.
  • Nuclear fission involves splitting big nuclei like Uranium-235 and plutonium.
  • When a nucleus splits, it shoots out gamma rays, neutrons and intense heat.
  • Nuclear weapons get their power from the
  • In an atom bomb the energy is released transformation of matter in atoms into in one second energy. Only two nuclear weapons have ever
  • In a power station, control rods make been used, during World War II. The first sure nuclear reactions are slowed and was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing from 70,000 to 100,000 energy released
  • The energy that binds the nucleus of an atom together is enormous, as Albert Einstein showed.
  • By releasing the energy from the nuclei of millions of atoms, nuclear power stations and bombs can generate a huge amount of power.
  • Nuclear fusion is when nuclear energy is released by fusing together small atoms such as deuterium (a kind of hydrogen).
  • Nuclear fusion is the reaction that keeps stars glowing and gives hydrogen bombs their terrifying power.
  • Nuclear fission releases energy by splitting the large nuclei of atoms such as uranium and plutonium.
  • To split atomic nuclei for nuclear fission, neutrons are fired into the nuclear fuel.
  • As neutrons crash into atoms and split their nuclei, they split off more neutrons. These neutrons bombard other nuclei, splitting off more neutrons that bombard more nuclei. This is called a chain reaction.
  • Nuclear fission involves firing a neutron (blue ball) into the nucleus of a uranium or plutonium atom. When the nucleus splits, it fires out more neutrons that split more nuclei, setting off a chain reaction.
  • An atom bomb, or A-bomb, is one of the two main kinds of nuclear weapon. It works by an explosive, unrestrained fission of uranium-235 or plutonium-239.
  • A hydrogen bomb (H-bomb) or thermonuclear weapon uses a conventional explosion to fuse the nuclei of deuterium atoms in a gigantic nuclear explosion.
  • The H-bomb tested at Novaya Zemlya in the former USSR in 1961 released 10,000 times more energy than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945. The huge mushroom shaped cloud of a nuclear explosion. The four main effects from such an explosion are 1) a fireball leading to a blast wave of noise and air pressure 2) intense thermal radiation i.e. heat 3) initial nuclear radiation 4) residual radiation – given off later than a minute after the explosion.