Why thermal neutron is used in fission reaction rather than fast neutron?

Why thermal neutron is used in fission reaction rather than fast neutron?

Thermal neutrons have a different and sometimes much larger effective neutron absorption cross-section for a given nuclide than fast neutrons, and can therefore often be absorbed more easily by an atomic nucleus, creating a heavier, often unstable isotope of the chemical element as a result.

How does a fast moving neutron make fission of U 235 happen?

When a free neutron hits the nucleus of a fissile atom like uranium-235 (235U), the uranium splits into two smaller atoms called fission fragments, plus more neutrons. Fission can be self-sustaining because it produces more neutrons with the speed required to cause new fissions. This creates the chain reaction.

Does fission require a neutron?

Nuclear fission can occur without neutron bombardment as a type of radioactive decay. This type of fission (called spontaneous fission) is rare except in a few heavy isotopes.

What is the difference between slow and fast neutrons?

Slow neutrons are responsible for most of nuclear fission and therefore help sustain the chain reactions. Fast neutrons, on the other hand, play a small role in fission but can transform nuclei of uranium 238 into fissile plutonium 239.

What is the difference between fast and thermal neutrons?

These terms have to do with the energy of neutrons: thermal neutrons, as their name suggests, have the energy of the order kBT, whereas fast neutrons have much higher energies. You may check here for an even finer classification. Both types of neutrons can be used in nuclear reactions: fast and thermal.

Why is U-235 more unstable than U 238?

gg-nuclides like 238U dont release enough energy when catching a neutron. So this neutrons must carry a lot of kinetic energy to excite the nucleus above the fission barrier. U-238 has 4 more neutrons than U-234 and three more neutrons than U-235. U-238 is more stable thus being more abundant naturally.

Why only uranium is used in nuclear fission?

Uranium is the fuel most widely used by nuclear plants for nuclear fission. Nuclear power plants use a certain kind of uranium, referred to as U-235, for fuel because its atoms are easily split apart. Although uranium is about 100 times more common than silver, U-235 is relatively rare.

What do fast neutrons do?

The use of fast neutrons in so-called ‘fast reactors’ allows for the production of more fissile nuclei than are destroyed, as the absorption of at least one neutron per fission by an uranium 238 nucleus transforms this uranium 238 into a fissile plutonium 239 nucleus.

What is the role of a neutron in nuclear fission?

These neutrons can induce fission in a nearby nucleus of fissionable material and release more neutrons that can repeat the sequence, causing a chain reaction in which a large number of nuclei undergo fission and an enormous amount of energy is released. …

How are fast neutrons used in nuclear fission?

Fast neutrons, on the other hand, play a small role in fission but can transform nuclei of uranium 238 into fissile plutonium 239. Other neutrons are lost when they are captured by ‘sterile’ nuclei or when they escape from the reactor as they slow down.

When does a nuclear fission reaction take place?

Nuclear fission can occur when a nucleus is rendered sufficiently unstable by the capture of a passing neutron. The probability for a fission reaction to take place depends much on how energetic these neutrons are.

Why are fast neutrons more dangerous than slow neutrons?

The fact that they possess a substantial amount of kinetic energy allows fast neutrons to fission more nuclei once they get captured. They can therefore split not only nuclei reputed fissile by slow neutrons, but also minor actinides, the heavy nuclei which build up inside nuclear fuel as radioactive waste.

What is the minimum condition for a fission chain reaction?

The required condition for a stable, self-sustained fission chain reaction in a multiplying system (in a nuclear reactor) is that exactly every fission initiate another fission. The minimum condition is for each nucleus undergoing fission to produce, on the average, at least one neutron that causes fission of another nucleus.