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Nuclear Fission

History, From Uranium Fission To Chain Reaction, The Manhattan Project, 1942-1945, Nuclear Reactors For Electric Power Production

Nuclear fission is a process in which the nucleus of an atom splits, usually into two pieces. This reaction was discovered when a target of uranium was bombarded by neutrons. Fission fragments were shown to fly apart with a large release of energy. The fission reaction was the basis of the atomic bomb, which was developed by the United States during World War II. After the war, controlled energy release from fission was applied to the development of nuclear reactors. Reactors are utilized for production of electricity at nuclear power plants, for propulsion of ships and submarines, and for the creation of radioactive isotopes used in medicine and industry.

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