Module 1

Module 1 | Module 2 | Module 3 | Module 4 | Module 5

Basic Nuclear Physics

  • What you need to know about nuclear physics to understand spent fuel management.

What Do You Need To Know?

Before listening to Module 1, you should already be able to:

  • Describe the nuclear model of the atom, including the general location of the protons, neutrons, and electrons, the relative size of the nucleus compared to the size of the atom, and the modern description of the electron.
  • Write the definitions for isotope, atomic number, and mass number.
  • Write or identify a description of the Law of Conservation of Energy.
  • Describe the relationship between stability, capacity to do work, and potential energy.
  • Write a brief description of radiant energy in terms of its particle and wave nature.
  • Write or identify the relative energies and wavelengths of the following forms of radiant energy: gamma rays, X rays, ultraviolet (UV) rays, visible light, infrared (IR) rays, microwaves, and radio waves.
  • Write the definitions for energy, kinetic energy, potential energy, excited state and ground state.
If you need help with these topics, Click HERE.
Critical Thinking Question:

The so-called alpha particles released by large radioactive elements such as uranium are helium nuclei consisting of two protons and two neutrons. Which has higher energy, (1) an uncharged helium atom or (2) an alpha particle and two separate electrons? Why?

See Answer.

Let’s Go on to Chapter 1!


Before Viewing – Prepare Your Brain:

View the Chapter 1 Learning Video

After Viewing – Check Your Brain:

Great Job!

Go on to Chapter 2!

Chapter 2: Up Close and Personal with the Nucleus

Before Viewing – Prepare Your Brain:

View the Chapter 2 Learning Video

After Viewing – Check Your Brain:

Chapter 3: Isotopes Pack a Punch

Fukushima Iodine 131 global radioactive spread on world map animation

Chapter 4: The Double-Edged Sword

After Viewing – Check Your Brain:

Answer Key