Nuclear fission and Nuclear Fusion

Difference Between Nuclear Fission and Nuclear Fusion

Difference Between Nuclear Fission and Nuclear Fusion

Difference Between Nuclear Fission and Nuclear Fusion

Nuclear fission and nuclear fusion are two different types of energy-releasing reactions in which energy is released from high-powered atomic bonds between the particles within the nucleus. The main difference between these two processes is that fission is the splitting of an atom into two or more smaller ones while fusion is the fusing of two or more smaller atoms into a larger one.
Basis of Comparision Nuclear Fission Nuclear Fusion
Definition Splitting of a large atom into two or more smaller atoms. Fusing of two or more lighter atoms into a larger atom.
Natural occurrence of the process Does not normally occur in nature. Occurs in stars, such as the sun.
Byproducts of the reaction Produces many highly radioactive particles. Few radioactive particles are produced.
Conditions Critical mass of the substance and high-speed neutrons are required. High density, high temperature environment is required.
Energy Requirement Takes little energy to split two atoms. Extremely high energy is required to bring two or more protons close enough that nuclear forces overcome their electrostatic repulsion.
Energy Released Energy released is a million times greater than that released in chemical reactions, but lower than the energy released by nuclear fusion. Energy released is three to four times greater than the energy released by fission.
Nuclear weapon Atomic bomb or Atom bomb. Hydrogen bomb.
Energy production Used in nuclear power plants. An experimental technology for producing power.
Fuel Uranium is the primary fuel used in power plants. Hydrogen isotopes (Deuterium and Tritium) are the primary fuel used in experimental fusion power plants.

How do both fission and fusion generate energy ?

Fission is the splitting of heavy nuclei in two or more smaller nuclei. This process needs less energy to 'bind' them together.So, energy is released.
Fusion on the other hand, is the process of sticking together light nuclei (typically hydrogen-like nuclei). The larger nuclei again needs less energy to hold it together.So, energy is released. Light elements, such as hydrogen and helium, have small nuclei that release lots of energy when they fuse together.
The amount of energy released during fusion is 10 times more than the energy released during fission for each gram of the fuel.

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