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Happenings

  • POTW exhibit at WSU through April 5, 2013
  • POTW exhibit in Portland May 3 - June 14, 2013

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Nuclear fission

Nuclear fission occurs when a subatomic particle, called a neutron, strikes and is absorbed into the nucleus of a uranium atom. This causes the nucleus of the atom to become unstable and to split, producing heat and additional neutrons. These additional neutrons then cause other uranium atoms to fission, resulting in a self-sustaining chain reaction. Each splitting of a uranium atom releases a relatively small amount of heat. Since a a nuclear reactor has billions of atoms in the fuel core splitting every second, the amount of heat produced is enough to boil water.producing the large amount of heat needed to boil water.

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