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Problem sheet on Nuclear Energy Summer 2011-12

1. The cesium isotope

137 55

Cs is present in the fallout from above ground detonations of nuclear

137 56

bombs. Because it decays with a slow (30.2 y) half-life into

Ba ,

releasing considerable

energy in the process, it is of environmental concern. The atomic masses of the Cs and Ba are 136.9071 u and 136.9058 u, respectively; calculate the total energy released in such a decay. 2. Consider radon [
222 86

Rn ] gas, a radioactive substance whose half life is 3.82 days. Calculate

[i] the radioactive decay constant and the mean life of radon, [ii] time taken for 4/5 of the original number of atoms to disintegrate, [iii] the time for 1/10 of the original number of atoms to remain unchanged and [iv] the activity of a 1 mg sample of radon gas. 3. Find the number of alpha-decays that occur in a one gram sample of thorium [ year if the disintegration constant of one gram of one year? 4. It is found that 46.3 mgm of naturally occurring potassium show a beta- activity of 1.5 dis/sec. The isotope responsible for this activity is 40K which makes up 0.012 % of the natural mixture. Calculate the half-life of 40K. An old wooden piece has 25.6% of radioactive carbon as compared to ordinary wood. Find its age, if its half life is 5760 years. The ratio of U-235 to U-238 in natural uranium deposits today is 0.0072. What was this ratio two billion years ago? The half-lives of the two isotopes are 0.704x109 y and 4.47x109 y, respectively. A deuterium nucleus fuses with tritium nucleus to produce 4He and a secondary neutron in the following reaction 1 H + 1 H 2 He+ 0 n + E . In this process 2.88x10-27J of energy is released.
2 3 4 1

232 90

Th ] in one

232 90


is 1.58x10-18 sec-1. Also calculate the activity of

232 90

Th . What would be the volume of helium gas produced by 1 gm of 232Th 90

5. 6.


Calculate the mass of 8. 9.

4 2

He produced.

What is the power output of a reactor fueled by uranium-235 if it takes 30 days to use up 2 Kg of fuel and if each fission gives 185 MeV of energy? A fusion reactor uses deuterium as fuel to give 200 MW power output. Find the fuel consumption per day if the reactor works with 25% efficiency. Given the masses of =2.0141 amu and
4 2 2 1

He=4.002603 amu.


In the interior of the sun a continuous process of 4 protons fusing into a helium nucleus and a pair of positrons is going on. Calculate [a] the release of energy per reaction and [b] the rate of consumption of hydrogen to produce 1 MW of power. Given mass of
1 1 H=1.007825


m + = 5.5 x10 4 amu .

11. In a thermonuclear reaction 1x10-3 kg hydrogen is converted into 0.993x10-3 kg He. Caculate the energy released. If the efficiency of the generator is 5%, calculate the electrical energy produced in KWH.

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