College Physics

1st Edition
Paul Peter Urone + 1 other
ISBN: 9781938168000



College Physics

1st Edition
Paul Peter Urone + 1 other
ISBN: 9781938168000
Textbook Problem

Breeding plutonium produces energy even before any plutonium is fissioned. (The primary purpose of the four nuclear reactors at Chernobyl was breeding plutonium for weapons. Electrical power was a by−product used by the civilian population.) Calculate the energy produced in each of the reactions listed for plutonium breeding just following Example 32.4. The pertinent masses are m ( 239 U ) = 239.054289 u , m ( 239 Np ) = 239.052932 u , and m ( 239 Pu ) = 239.052157 u .

To determine

The energy produced in each of the reactions for plutonium breeding.


Given info:

The mass of U238mU238=238.050784 u

The mass of U239mU239=239.054289 u

The mass of N239pmN239p=239.052932 u

The mass of P239umP239u=238.052157 u

The mass of a neutron

  mn=1.008665 u

The mass of the β- particle

  me=0.0005486 u

The breeding reactions:


Formula used:

The energy released in a nuclear reaction is given by,


Here, mr is the mass of the reactants and mp is the mass of the products measured in atomic mass units (u).


For reaction (1) U238+nU239+γ , write an expression for the energy released.

  E1=mU 238+mnmU 239931.5MeV/u

Calculate the energy released in the reaction.

  E1=m U 238 +mnm U 239 931.5MeV/u=238.050784 u+1

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