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What is the difference between a nuclear fission reaction, and standard radioactive decay?

I’m just not sure what the difference is between nuclear fission and “regular” radioactive decay.

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2 Responses to “What is the difference between a nuclear fission reaction, and standard radioactive decay?”

  1. Virtual said:

    Radioactive decay is just the decomposition of unstable atoms over a period of time, into elements with lower atomic numbers. This occurs naturally all over the earth. Fission is when heavy elements are “ripped apart” by energy. This is what happens in nuclear reactors, and usually results in radioactive waste materials and the release of a large amount of energy.
    Edit: Decay usually only happens naturally with very heavy elements, anything higher than Uranium.

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