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is3_68 - (UO 2 Uranium dioxide a ceramic is used because...

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Radiological Emergency Management Independent Study Course 3-8 Control Rods Inserted Fission Products The smaller atoms produced by nuclear fission are called fission products. Fission products may be of a wide variety of elements. Common fission products include xenon, krypton, iodine, cesium and strontium. Most fission products are highly radioactive and will undergo radioactive decay. Most decay quickly and will be gone within several days. Some, however, remain in the nuclear fuel for many years, and must be contained to prevent injury to the public. Decay also produces heat, referred to as decay heat, that must be removed even after the reactor is shut down. If the decay heat is not removed, it will result in failures of the barriers designed to contain the fission products and possibly a radioactive release from the plant. Nuclear Fuel The nuclear fuel typically used in nuclear power plants consists of uranium in the form of uranium dioxide
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Unformatted text preview: (UO 2 ). Uranium dioxide, a ceramic, is used because like all ceramics, it can withstand very high temperatures. The uranium dioxide is fabricated into cylindrical fuel pellets , approximately one-half inch long. Many fuel pellets are stacked end-to-end to form a fuel rod . Each fuel rod is approximately 12 feet long and is encased in a metal tube called the fuel cladding . The purpose of the cladding is to prevent fission products from escaping from the fuel pellets into the reactor cooling water. Most radioactive fission products remain in the fuel, very close to where they are formed. However, certain fission products such as krypton and xenon gases or iodine atoms are mobile and may move out of the fuel and become trapped in the narrow gaps between the fuel pellets and the fuel cladding. Uranium Fuel Pellet...
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