Sample: Comparison Between Nuclear Fission and Fusion

Radioactivity is a property exhibited by specific nuclides that are unstable and tend to seek stability by spontaneous emission of radiations. Stability is attained by the release of energy so that a stable nuclide configuration is reached. This essay critically compares nuclear fusion to nuclear fission as used in radioactivity.
As noted by Tabbakh and Hosmane, (2020, pp 7, 8), nuclide stability is achieved by radioactive decay. By definition, this is a process whereby unstable nuclide releases energy in the form of radiation. Here the nucleus that undergoes radioactive decay is known as radioactive nuclide such as uranium-235. Three prominent radioactive decay types exist, which include beta decays, gamma, and beta decay. Besides, Yalcin and Pekcan, (2018, p. 22) pinpoint that nuclear stability is achieved by nuclear fission or fusion.
Nuclear fusion is a process where a lighter nuclide gains more nucleons by combining with other nuclides producing a nuclide with higher binding energy per nucleon, thus becoming stable. On the contrary, nuclear fission is a process where a dense nucleus splits into lighter nuclides with fewer nucleons. As the unstable nuclide approaches stability, it drops to a lower energy state accompanied by energy release. This process takes the impact on elements whose atomic numbers are higher than eighty atomic mass units. For example, when 235U is bombarded with fast-moving neutrons, the disintegration reaction gives stable Tin-236 and Zinc-72, which are lighter and established.
Lindstrom, (2018, pp. 1469, 1470) determines that nuclear fission hardly occurs in nature. The process requires specific conditions that nature does not provide. However, in specialized nuclear reactors, this process can be initiated artificially to yield nuclear energy. On the other hand, atomic fusion happens in nature, like in supernovas. Here the stars provide necessary conditions that initiate fusion reactions releasing enormous amounts of energy under very high temperatures. Examining the type of reactions, Chen et al., (2019, pp. 32, 33) note that nuclear fission is entirely a chain reaction while nuclear fusion does not favor chain reaction. The chain reaction in nuclear fission yields numerous highly radioactive particles as opposed to nuclear fusion, which gives few radioactive particles.
Each process needs specific conditions. Fission needs a critical mass of the fissionable substance and high-speed neutrons to start the chain reactions. In contrast, nuclear fusion involves a high-density environment coupled with high thermal energy. Regarding energy requirements, Nazarewicz (2018, p. 539) mentions that splitting of two nuclides needs little energy hence lower temperature requirement. However, combining two or more protons in nuclear fusion requires extremely high energy as a result of increased nuclear forces that overcome electrostatic forces.
Investigating energy released in the two processes, Simenel, and Umar (2018, pp . 35) discovered that fission reactions release energy that is up to a million times more than that dissipated in natural reactions, but still lesser than the that given out in the fusion reaction. Also, fission releases energy that can be used for peaceful purposes, such as generating electric power. Contrary, fusion reaction discharges energy that is four times greater than fission energy. Fusion energy is uncontrollable diminishing usefulness of its power. Furthermore, fission promotes the manufacturing of nuclear weapons such as atomic bombs, while fusion provides hydrogen bombs. Both nuclear bombs are deadly to the environment and all forms of life.
Collectively most nuclear reactions are either fission or fusion. The two processes, despite their differences and similarities, have played a crucial role in understanding the formation and death of stars and also providing alternative sources of energy. However, if not controlled, the two nuclear processes are a significant threat to the environment.
Bibliography
Chen, F., Hu, J., Takahashi, Y., Yamada, M., Rahman, M.S., and Yang, G., 2019. Application of synchrotron radiation and other techniques in the analysis of radioactive microparticles emitted from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident-A review. Journal of environmental radioactivity, 196, pp.29-39.
Lindstrom, R.M., 2018. Nuclear analysis at NBS and NIST. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, 318(3), pp.1465-1471.
Nazarewicz, W., 2018. The limits of nuclear mass and charge. Nature Physics, 14(6), pp.537-541.
Simenel, C., and Umar, A.S., 2018. Heavy-ion collisions and fission dynamics with the time-dependent Hartree–Fock theory and its extensions. Progress in Particle and Nuclear Physics, 103, pp.19-66.
Tabbakh, F., and Hosmane, N.S., 2020. Enhancement of Radiation Effectiveness in Proton Therapy: Comparison Between Fusion and Fission Methods and Further Approaches. Scientific Reports, 10(1), pp.1-12.
Yalcin, Y. and Pekcan, O., 2018. Nuclear Fission–Nuclear Fusion algorithm for global optimization: a modified Big Bang–Big Crunch algorithm. Neural Computing and Applications, pp.1-33.