Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 34 - Think and Discuss: 66


A fission reactor, by necessity, has a large minimum size, which makes it rather unwieldy, not to mention heavy.

Work Step by Step

A fission reaction requires a critical mass to start. As stated on page 642, besides the nuclear fuel, a fission reactor also requires a moderator, control rods, coolant, and shielding. This makes it far too large to directly power a car. Indirectly, fission can power automobiles by generating electricity to run plug-in cars.
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