Tips and tricks

Can a nuclear reaction be reversed?

Can a nuclear reaction be reversed?

There is disagreement between scientists about the reversibility of the spontaneous decay. There is analogy between the de-excitation of an excited atom (with emission of a photon) and the decay of a nucleus (with emission of a particle, α, β, or γ. But it is not reversible.

Is fusion a reversible?

The fusion process of Chang et al. results in hierarchical assemblies that involve thousands of individual GO fibers (see the figure). When the fiber assemblies are immersed in a suitable solvent, the process can be reversed, resembling fission.

Can nuclear fusion be stopped?

Fusion, unlike fission, does not involve a chain reaction, so the process can be stopped eliminating the risk of a meltdown. Fusion does not produce nuclear waste, only the core of the reactor remains radioactive and only for 100 years.

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Does fusion produce radiation?

Fusion on the other hand does not create any long-lived radioactive nuclear waste. A fusion reactor produces helium, which is an inert gas. Tritium is radioactive (a beta emitter) but its half life is short. It is only used in low amounts so, unlike long-lived radioactive nuclei, it cannot produce any serious danger.

Will fusion ever be possible?

Normally, fusion is not possible because the strongly repulsive electrostatic forces between the positively charged nuclei prevent them from getting close enough together to collide and for fusion to occur. The nuclei can then fuse, causing a release of energy.

Can fusion reactor explode?

Fortunately, the reactor cannot explode. A nuclear explosion cannot occur because the fuel is not compact enough to allow an uncontrolled chain reaction. The MIT reactor has a lot of water and core structural materials that slow the neutrons down before they reach other fissile atoms.

Can a fusion reaction be reversed?

Yes. If you have all the products of the fusion reaction and enough extra energy to make the reaction actually occur, fusion can be reversed. It’s no different from reversing a chemical reaction, and it’s just as useless for power production.

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What is the difference between nuclear fusion and nuclear fission?

In addition, nuclear fission reactors use solid fuel which is denser than a thermonuclear plasma, so the energy released is more concentrated. Also the neutron energy from fusion is higher than from fission – 14.1 MeV instead of about 2 MeV, which presents significant challenges regarding structural materials.

Should we be worried about nuclear fusion?

To the wider world, it is clearly not a risk, but with fusion we don’t have to worry about this anyway. Nuclear fusion reactors don’t use a radioactive source to power them, they run on hydrogen. Two hydrogen atoms are fused together to form helium atoms, which produces neutrons and vast amounts of energy.

What is controlled fusion and how does it work?

The aim of the controlled fusion research program is to achieve ‘ignition’, which occurs when enough fusion reactions take place for the process to become self-sustaining, with fresh fuel then being added to continue it. Once ignition is achieved, there is net energy yield – about four times as much as with nuclear fission.