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24.7: Applications of Nuclear Energy

Created by: CK-12

Student Behavioral Objectives

The student will:

  • trace the energy transfers that occur in a nuclear power reactor from the binding energy of the nuclei to the electricity that leaves the plant.
  • define the term “breeder reactor.”
  • list some medical uses of nuclear energy.

Timing, Standards, Activities

Timing and California Standards
Lesson Number of 60 min periods CA Standards
Applications of Nuclear Energy 1.0 1f, 11b

Activities for Lesson 7

Laboratory Activities

1. None

Demonstrations

1. None

Worksheets

1. Radioactivity Worksheet

Extra Readings

1. Facts and Myths About Civilian Nuclear Power Plants

Answers for Applications of Nuclear Energy (L7) Review Questions

  • Sample answers to these questions are available upon request. Please send an email to teachers-requests@ck12.org to request sample answers.

Multimedia Resources for Chapter 24

This website provides animations demonstrating balancing alpha and beta decay equations.

To learn more about Marie Curie, visit:

The following webpage provides more information about the discovery of radioactivity.

This video discusses binding energy, fission and nuclear force.

Part 1 and 2 of A Funny 1950's Science Educational Cartoon Video about the Atom, the chemical elements, isotopes, electrons, protons, neutrons. The video also shows nuclear reactors and the benefits of peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

For an introduction to the energy from the nucleus, see

This website provides more information about strong nuclear forces.

This video provides an overview of Alpha, Beta, Gamma Decay and Positron Emission.

For an introduction to quarks, see

The following is a video showing nuclear reactions.

Short animation showing the bending of  \alpha,  \beta, and  \gamma radiation under the influence of electrically charged plates.

For a demonstration of the mouse trap model of a chain reaction, see

This video is an introduction to natural transmutations.

These videos chronicle the search for cold fusion.

A short animation of nuclear fission can be viewed at:

A short animation of nuclear fusion can be viewed at:

This website has several videos that show the tremendous effects of a nuclear explosion.

For a lecture about types of nuclear decay including the ionizing and penetration power of the three major types of radioactive emissions, see

The following website provides more information about background radiation.

  • [www.hps.org/publicinformation/ate/cat10.html www.hps.org/publicinformation/ate/cat10.html]

The website below displays a map that shows the amount of environmental radiation across the United States.

  • [www.radiationnetwork.com/RadiationNetwork.htm www.radiationnetwork.com/RadiationNetwork.htm]

For more details about nuclear power versus other sources of power, you can read the following report.

The following web site contains a history of the discovery (creation) of the transuranium elements and includes some of the reactions used to produce them.

Laboratory Activities for Chapter 24

Basic Nuclear Lab Kit

Listed below is one commercial lab kit for nuclear labs. There are several others available from high school chemistry vendors. All of them with lab manuals.

The Basic Nuclear Lab Set is a complete student station designed for high school and college level nuclear science instruction. The system may be used with or without a computer, and consists of a lab station with built-in Geiger-Mueller counter, scaler with preset time, large 6-decade LED display, sample positioning tray and 11- piece radiation absorber set. The system features a variable high voltage power supply for plateau measurements, serial interface and cable with DATALINK software for data transfer to PC. System includes alpha, beta and gamma radioisotope sources & experiment manuals. Data files are stored in spreadsheet compatible format for graphing and manipulation prior to printing.

To ensure the longest half-life possible, all isotopes are fabricated when the order is placed and shipped directly to you from the NRC licensed nuclear isotope manufacturer in Oak Ridge, TN. The system may be used with Nuclear lab station with GM counter, serial interface and DATALINK software.

Serial cable for PC

Set of three radioisotope sources, 1 each alpha, beta, and gamma disks

Nuclear science experiments manual with sample data. CD version.

Basic Nuclear Lab Kit: $985.00

Demonstrations for Chapter 24

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Date Created:

Aug 18, 2012

Last Modified:

Jul 21, 2014
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