Nuclear Power and Radioisotopes (Sections)
The spent fuel elements from a fission reactor are much more intensely radioactive than the original fuel elements.
(a) What does this tell you about the products of the fission process in relationship to the belt of stability, Figure?
Figure Nuclear binding energies. The average binding energy per nucleon increases initially as the mass number increases and then decreases slowly. Because of these trends, fusion of light nuclei and fission of heavy nuclei are exothermic processes.
(b) Given that only two or three neutrons are released per fission event and knowing that the nucleus undergoing fission has a neutron-to-proton ratio characteristic of a heavy nucleus, what sorts of decay would you expect to be dominant among the fission products?