Difference Between Nuclear Fission and Nuclear Fusion

The harnessed nuclear energy is released in nuclear reactions. There are two types of nuclear reactions called nuclear fission and nuclear fusion. Nuclear fission and fusion involve the disintegration and combination of the elemental nucleus. In the case of nuclear fission, an atom divides into two or more smaller or lighter atoms. Nuclear fusion occurs when two or more atoms join or fuse together to form a large or heavy atom.

Nuclear Fission and Fusion
Fusion occurs in the sun where the atoms of(isotopes of hydrogen, Hydrogen-3, and Hydrogen-2 ) Deuterium and Tritium combine in a huge pressure atmosphere with extremely high temperature to produce an output in the form of a neutron and an isotope of Helium. Also, the amount of energy released in fusion is way greater than the energy produced by fission. The difference between nuclear fission and fusion is provided here so that learners can understand the concept more effectively.

Difference Between Nuclear Fission and Nuclear Fusion

Nuclear Fusion vs Fission


Nuclear Fusion

Nuclear Fission


Fusion would be defined as the joining of two or more small atoms to form a large atom.

Fission would be defined as the division of a single atom into multiple atoms of small size.

The necessity of Energy

A huge amount of energy required to combine small atoms to form a large atom.

Requires less energy to divide atoms into two or more ones.

The release of Energy

The release of energy in fusion is way higher than that of the fission reaction.

The amount of energy released in fission is much lower than the energy released in fusion.

Production/Usage of energy

The technology is used for experiments in power plants.

Used to produce energy in nuclear power plants.

Natural Reactions

Happens in natural forces like stars and sun.

Never occurs in nature in normal cases.

Ideal Conditions

Requires high density and high-temperature atmosphere.

There is a necessity to have a critical mass of the substance and neutrons with high speed.

Reaction Outcome

Very few radioactive chemicals come out of this reaction.

The fission reaction produces highly radioactive substances.

Fuel Used

Hydrogen isotopes are used as fuel in experimental plants.

Uranium is one of the primary fuels in nuclear power plants.

The table above would have given you a clear idea about how the two terms nuclear fission and fusion vary from one another.

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A nuclear reactor is an apparatus that produces and controls the energy that is released from nuclear fission reactions. The energy released from the controlled nuclear fission reactions is harnessed as heat and is used to produce steam. The steam produced is used to drive the turbines which in turn produce electricity. The video below clearly explains the working of a nuclear reactor.

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