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Nuclear Power

In this worksheet, students explore how nuclear power is created and used.

'Nuclear Power' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

Curriculum topic:  Physics: Atomic Structure

Curriculum subtopic:  Radioactive Materials

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Nuclear power stations do not produce any smoke or carbon dioxide, but they do produce radioactive waste. Low level radioactive waste is diluted in water as it goes into the sea. High level radioactive waste is very harmful to living organisms, so it is stored in steel drums and buried underground up to 1km deep. Nuclear power stations in the UK are built away from populated areas and near the sea, so low level waste can be put away easily. Underground nuclear waste burial sites should not be built near earthquake sites, because in the case of an earthquake radioactive waste could be released to the environment and cause a great disaster. Radioactive substances are labelled with this special symbol:

 


 
Radiation changes the structure of an atom; this is called ionisation. Ionisation causes DNA in cells to mutate (change randomly). Mutations cause body cells to behave differently and divide in an uncontrolled manner. This can cause cancer. Because of this, people handling radioactive material take the following precautions:

  • wear special protective clothing
  • keeping as far away from the source of radioactivity possible
  • use absorbing shielding
  • reduce the length of their exposure
  • do not touch radioactive material.

 

The main source of nuclear power is uranium, which remains radioactive for thousands of years after being used and disposed. One of the waste products is plutonium, which is used for nuclear weapons. Atomic bombs have caused great disasters in the last century (see the picture below):

 


 
Radioactivity can be measured using a Geiger-Müller (GM) tube connected to a ratemeter or counter. Most commonly it is called Geiger counter. Radioactivity can also be heard through a loudspeaker. There are three main types of ionising radiation: alpha (α), beta (β), gamma (γ).

What type of waste is produced in nuclear power stations?

radioactive

carbon dioxide

sulfur dioxide

What is the disposal method for high level radioactive waste?

it is released into the atmosphere

it is diluted as it goes into the sea

it is buried deep underground

Tick one statement that applies to radioactive waste burial sites.

they are built away from earthquake sites

they are built near the sea

they are built up in mountains

What are the colours that are used in the radioactivity danger symbol? Tick two boxes.

grey

black

white

green

yellow

What does ionisation do?

it stabilises DNA

it causes mutations

it decreases energy loss

Tick three ways that workers protect themselves from radiation.

wear protective clothing

touch radioactive material

do not touch radioactive material

reduce the length of their exposure to the radiation

handle radiation irresponsibly

What element is the main source of nuclear power?

uranium

plutonium

ammonium

cobalt

Select the main waste product of nuclear power.

uranium

plutonium

ammonium

cobalt

What is the common name for the apparatus used to measure radioactivity?

Is it possible to hear radioactivity?

yes

no

  • Question 1

What type of waste is produced in nuclear power stations?

CORRECT ANSWER
radioactive
EDDIE SAYS
Nuclear power stations produce radioactive waste.
  • Question 2

What is the disposal method for high level radioactive waste?

CORRECT ANSWER
it is buried deep underground
EDDIE SAYS
High level radioactive waste is buried deep underground - up to 1 kilometre deep.
  • Question 3

Tick one statement that applies to radioactive waste burial sites.

CORRECT ANSWER
they are built away from earthquake sites
EDDIE SAYS
Nuclear waste burial sites must be built away from earthquake sites.
  • Question 4

What are the colours that are used in the radioactivity danger symbol? Tick two boxes.

CORRECT ANSWER
black
yellow
EDDIE SAYS
The radioactivity danger symbol is yellow and black.
  • Question 5

What does ionisation do?

CORRECT ANSWER
it causes mutations
EDDIE SAYS
Ionisation causes DNA mutations.
  • Question 6

Tick three ways that workers protect themselves from radiation.

CORRECT ANSWER
wear protective clothing
do not touch radioactive material
reduce the length of their exposure to the radiation
EDDIE SAYS
People handling radioactive material wear special clothing, keep the largest distance from the source of radioactivity possible, use absorbing shielding, reduce the length of their exposure and do not touch radioactive material.
  • Question 7

What element is the main source of nuclear power?

CORRECT ANSWER
uranium
EDDIE SAYS
Uranium is the main source of nuclear power.
  • Question 8

Select the main waste product of nuclear power.

CORRECT ANSWER
plutonium
EDDIE SAYS
Plutonium is the main waste product of nuclear power.
  • Question 9

What is the common name for the apparatus used to measure radioactivity?

CORRECT ANSWER
Geiger counter
EDDIE SAYS
Radioactivity can be measured using a Geiger-Müller (GM) tube connected to a ratemeter or counter. Most commonly it is called Geiger counter.
  • Question 10

Is it possible to hear radioactivity?

CORRECT ANSWER
yes
EDDIE SAYS
Radioactivity can be heard through a loudspeaker connected to the Geiger counter.
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