   Chapter 31, Problem 64PE

Chapter
Section
Textbook Problem

Data from the appendices and the periodic table may be needed for these problems.The Galilee space probe was launched on its long journey past several planets in 1989, with an ultimate goal of Jupiter. Its power source is 11.0 kg of 238Pu, a by−product of nuclear weapons plutonium production. Electrical energy is generated thermoelectrically from the heat produced when the 5.59−MeV (particles emitted in each decay crash to a halt inside the plutonium and its shielding. The half−life of 238Pu is 87.7 years. (a) What was the original activity of the 238Pu in becquerel? (b) What power was emitted in kilowatts? (c) What power was emitted 12.0 y after launch? You may neglect any extra energy from daughter nuclides and any losses from escaping γ rays.

To determine

(a)

The original activity of 238Pu.

Explanation

Given info:

The half-life of 238Pu

t12=87.7y=87.7×365×24×60×60sec

t12=2.77×109sec

Mass of the 238Pu is

m=11.0kg

Formula used:

The activity is defined as

R=0.693Nt12

Calculation:

Number of atoms present in 238Pu is

N=11

To determine

(b)

The power emitted during 238Pu production.

To determine

(c)

The power emitted 12.0y after launch.

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