Problem: A breeder nuclear reactor is a reactor in which nonfissile U-238 is converted into fissile Pu-239. The process involves bombardment of U-238 by neutrons to form U-239 which then undergoes two sequential beta decays.Write nuclear equations to represent this process.

🤓 Based on our data, we think this question is relevant for Professor Siler's class at OREGONSTATE.

FREE Expert Solution

We are asked to write nuclear equations to represent the process that involves bombardment of U-238 by neutrons to form U-239 which then undergoes two sequential beta decays.

Recall that in a nuclear reaction, the number of protons and neutrons is affected and the identity of the element changes


The different types of radioactive decay are:

• Alpha decay: forms an alpha particle (42α, atomic mass = 4, atomic number = 2)

• Beta decay: forms a beta particle (0–1β, atomic mass = 0, atomic number = –1). The beta particle appears in the product side.

• Gamma emission: forms a gamma particle (00γ, atomic mass = 0, atomic number = 0)

• Positron emission: forms a positron particle (01e, atomic mass = 0, atomic number = 1)

• Electron capture: the initial nuclide captures an electron (0–1e, atomic mass = 0, atomic number = –1). The electron appears in the reactant side.


The nuclear equation must be balanced with the same total atomic mass and atomic number on both sides.


View Complete Written Solution
Problem Details

A breeder nuclear reactor is a reactor in which nonfissile U-238 is converted into fissile Pu-239. The process involves bombardment of U-238 by neutrons to form U-239 which then undergoes two sequential beta decays.

Write nuclear equations to represent this process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Radioactive Decay concept. You can view video lessons to learn Radioactive Decay . Or if you need more Radioactive Decay practice, you can also practice Radioactive Decay practice problems.

What professor is this problem relevant for?

Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Siler's class at OREGONSTATE.