top of page

Dr. Tsubokura's Radiation Lecture Vol.76

Author: Masaharu Tsubokura

Editors: Akihiko Ozaki M.D., Yuki Senoo

151. Radioactive uranium and plutonium could be used as ingredients for nuclear weapons

When radioactive uranium 235, which accounts for less than 1% of natural uranium, collides with a neutron, radioactive uranium becomes unbalanced and split, which results in a release of heat. Furthermore, fission of uranium also results in the production of a new neutron, which will then collide with more radioactive uranium and produce another fusion reaction and more heat.

Radioactive uranium produces this chain reaction when predetermined conditions are met. At a nuclear power plant, this chain reaction is gradually carried out in sealed containers to produce heat and results in the production of plutonium.

There are also several forms of plutonium produced by nuclear reactors, but along with uranium 235, plutonium 239 is particularly prone to fission.