Topic 2: Introduction to Nuclear Energy

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The Fission Process

View the Fission Animation

By Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM

What will you learn in Topic 2?

  • Why nuclear physics is about probabilities (interaction)

  • That particle interactions can be understood in terms of simple billiard balls

  • How to “think like a neutron”

  • How actinides fission and some isotopes can sustain a chain reaction

  • That there are 2 types of fission: spontaneous and induced fission

  • How to use the table of nuclides to look up isotope characteristics

  • How a sustained chain reaction can be used for peaceful and military purposes

  • The design of a gun-type and implosion-type nuclear weapon

  • How an uncontrolled and controlled chain reaction works

  • What significant quantity and critical mass are and why they are important

  • What the nuclear fuel cycle is

  • How a nuclear reactor works

  • And much more!

    Roadmap to Topic 2

        Get the full PPT for Module 2 HERE

Review of Basic Concepts Step 1
Critical Thinking for Chapter 1 Step   2
English Idiom: “Scratch the Surface” Step   3

Chapter 1 Video: The Last Piece of the Puzzle

How are peaceful use and military use of nuclear energy linked?

Step   4
Vocabulary for Chapter 2 Step   5
From Atoms to the Chart of Nuclides Step   6
Critical Thinking for Chapter 2 Step   7

Chapter 2 Video: The Self-Sustaining Chain Reaction

How do the properties of U-235 help to sustain the chain reaction?

Step 8
Chapter 2 Quiz Step   9
Chapter 3 Part I Vocabulary Step 10
Gun-Type Nuclear Weapon Activity Step 11
English Expression: “Two shakes of a lamb’s tail” Step 12

Chapter 3 Part I Video: Military Applications

Just how short a period of time is a “shake” and what does it have to do with a nuclear explosion?

Step 13
Chapter 3 Part I Quiz Step 14
Chapter 3 Part II Vocabulary Games Step 15
English Idiom: “Rule of Thumb” Step 16
Implosion Bomb Activity Step 17
Critical Thinking Question & Discussion Step 18
Chapter 3 Part II Video: Military ApplicationsHow is plutonium made, and why does it require an implosion design nuclear weapon? Step 19
Chapter 3 Part II Quiz Step 20
Chapter 4 Part I TermsAtoms for Peace Step 21
What is a fuel assembly? Activity and Video Step 22
Chapter 4 Part I Video: Peaceful Use of Nuclear EnergyHow does slowing down the neutrons increase the probability of hitting the target? Step 23
Chapter 4 Part I Quiz Step 24
Chapter 4 Part II Terms Step 25
What do you know about the boiling water reactor (BWR)? Activity and Video Step 26

Chapter 4 Part II Video: Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy

What are fission products, and why are they important for understanding the problems of spent fuel?

Step 27
Chapter 4 Part II Quiz Step 28
Chapter 5 Part I Vocabulary Step 29
What do you know about the nuclear fuel cycle? Step 30
Critical Thinking: Reprocessing or Long-Term Disposal?Team Discussion Step 31

Topic 2 Chapter 5 Part I Video

The Nuclear Fuel Cycle

What is different between U235 and U238 that makes centrifuge enrichment work?

Step 32
Topic 2 Chapter 5 Part I QuizFYI: Lybia’s Nuclear Program Plans Step 33
Topic 2 Chapter 5 Part II Vocabulary Step 34
Topic 2 Chapter 5 Part II VideoThe Nuclear Fuel CycleWhat is the closed nuclear fuel cycle, and what does it have to do with spent nuclear fuel? Step 35
Topic 2 Chapter 5 Quiz Step 36