Atomic Energy: A mythical "solution" to the world's energy problems, which turned out to be a "Pandora's Box" for humanity.

There's division and confusion about Fission and Fusion, so here are two illustrations, the first of fission, and the second, of fusion.

-- Both of the above images are from: Energy: Boy Scouts of America, Merit Badge Series, page 19, Irving, TX, 1998 printing of the 1978 edition.


Current reactor technology uses fission. Below is another illustration of how fission works, showing the splitting of the atom, and the release of various rays and particles.

-- Above image is from: The Atom from A to Z, by K. Gladkov (translated from Russian by Michael Zimmerman), page 91, MIR Publishers, Moscow, 1971.


After the initial fission of the Uranium atom, the "daughter products" which are produced are also radioactive, and they also break down (radioactively decay), according to their half-life, into other products, in a series of transformations...

-- Above image is from: The Atomic Nucleus, by M. Korsunsky (Translated from Russian by G. Yankovsky), page 52, Dover Publications, NY, 1963.


Many different isotopes of various chemicals are produced through these breakdowns and transformations. Listed below are some radioactive isotopes.

-- Above image is from: The Atomic Nucleus, by M. Korsunsky (Translated from Russian by G. Yankovsky), page 220, Dover Publications, NY, 1963.


Below is an illustration showing, among other things, the four possible ways of separating U235 from U238, which is necessary for "enrichment".

What's particularly interesting about the image shown below is the date: 1938, which shows that the nuclear energy's capabilities were well known many years before anyone decided to be fool enough to actually try to build a nuclear power plant. It took a war, and people's love for the tool which was used to end the war, for people to mistakenly embrace nuclear power.

-- Above image is from: Atomic Energy, 1938. (This appears to be a magazine; the date is known only from the writing on the packaging it came in; we only have the one sheet reproduced here for reference. We believe it is accurately dated. Colorized (beyond the original red and black) by this author.)


Copyright (c) 2002 by Russell D. Hoffman. All Rights Reserved