AP Environmental Science : Fission and Fusion

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Environmental Science

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Fission And Fusion

The most common nuclear fuel used to produce a fission chain reaction in a nuclear weapon is:

Possible Answers:

Plutonium-240

Uranium-238

Uranium-235

Plutonium-238

Uranium-236

Correct answer:

Uranium-235

Explanation:

U-235 differs from U-238 in that U-235 is able to produce a fission chain reaction. U-238 is the most common isotope of uranium, with the U-235 isotope constituting less than 1% of natural sources. Uranium enrichment is the process by which U-235 is separated out, and it is this product that is most commonly used to manufacture nuclear weapons. Pu-239 is produced from U-238 and can be used for nuclear weapons as well, but Pu-239 is not an answer choice.

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