Asha's mother read an article in the newspaper about a disaster that took place at Chernobyl. She could not understand much from the articles and asked a few questions from Asha regarding the article. Asha tried to answer her mother's questions based on what she learnt in Class XII Physics.
(a) What was the installation at Chernobyl where the disaster took place? What according to you, was the cause of this disaster?
(b) Explain the process of release of energy in the installation at Chernobyl.
(c) What according to you, were the values displayed by Asha and her mother?
(a) Nuclear power plant was installed at Chernobyl where the disaster took place. The Chernobyl accident was the result of a flawed reactor design that was operated with inadequately trained personnel.
(b) The process of release of energy in the installation at Chernobyl was nuclear fission.
Nuclear fission is the splitting of heavy nucleus into two or more lighter nuclei. In a typical nuclear reaction involving 235U and a neutron:
`""_92^235 U + n = ""_56^141Ba +""_36^92Kr + 3n + Q`
For a fission reaction, two conditions need to be satisfied:
(i) Critical mass of the substance (the minimum amount of mass is required for fission to be self-sustaining).
(ii) A relatively slow neutron is required to initiate the process.
(c) Qualities showed by Asha is:
Qualities showed by Asha's mother is :