Concept

Nuclear fuel

Summary
Nuclear fuel is material used in nuclear power stations to produce heat to power turbines. Heat is created when nuclear fuel undergoes nuclear fission. Most nuclear fuels contain heavy fissile actinide elements that are capable of undergoing and sustaining nuclear fission. The three most relevant fissile isotopes are uranium-233, uranium-235 and plutonium-239. When the unstable nuclei of these atoms are hit by a slow-moving neutron, they frequently split, creating two daughter nuclei and two or three more neutrons. In that case, the neutrons released go on to split more nuclei. This creates a self-sustaining chain reaction that is controlled in a nuclear reactor, or uncontrolled in a nuclear weapon. Alternatively, if the nucleus absorbs the neutron without splitting, it creates a heavier nucleus with one additional neutron. The processes involved in mining, refining, purifying, using, and disposing of nuclear fuel are collectively known as the nuclear fuel cycle. Not all types of
About this result
This page is automatically generated and may contain information that is not correct, complete, up-to-date, or relevant to your search query. The same applies to every other page on this website. Please make sure to verify the information with EPFL's official sources.
Related publications

Loading

Related people

Loading

Related units

Loading

Related concepts

Loading

Related courses

Loading

Related lectures

Loading