How do Nuclear Reactors Generate Neutrinos?
- Nuclear reactors produce electric energy by the process of nuclear fission.
- Fission is a process that occurs when a heavy element such as uranium and plutonium becomes unstable and subsequently splits into lighter elements.
- In the case of nuclear reactors, the uranium is bombarded with neutrons which causes the instability.
- Antineutrinos, energetic photons, and free neutrons are the byproducts of nuclear fission.
- As many as 1020 electron anti-neutrinos are emitted from average 1GWth nuclear reactor every second!
- The free neutrons cause a chain reaction as more and more uranium atoms are made unstable by their presence.