How can nuclear reaction lead to a chain reaction?

1 Answer
Apr 2, 2014

U-238 is bombarded with neutrons to produce Pu-239 in a power breeder reactor. Nuclear reactors generate energy through fission, the process by which an atomic nucleus splits into two or more smaller nuclei. During fission, a small amount of mass is converted into energy, which can be used to power a generator to create electricity.

A controlled chain reaction is required for fission to take place. When a uranium nucleus in a reactor splits, it produces two or more neutrons that can then be absorbed by other nuclei, causing them to undergo fission as well. More neutrons are released in turn and continuous fission is achieved.