1. Nuclear chemistry is the branch of chemistry that deals with the study of the nucleus in an atom. Nuclear Reactors: Chernobyl The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear accident that occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in on April 26, 1986. Fission is a type of nuclear reaction that may occur spontaneously or as a result of a particle striking an atomic nucleus. An analogous process occurs in the atomic nucleus when protons or neutrons (the nucleons) become excited. The excited nucleon occupies a higher energy nuclear orbital. Nuclear reactions provide us with enormous amounts of energy. Nuclear reactions change the composition of an atom's nucleus, and this process is useful for many applications. It turns out that the only way to turn one element into another element is using nuclear chemistry! A nuclear reaction is different from a chemical reaction. Most people are aware electrons can change energy levels and be found in excited states. Because nuclear chemistry is a very computation-intensive specialization, researchers in this field must be able to use, and train others to use, data collection and analysis methods, software packages, and computer imaging visualization capabilities. Nuclear chemistry is a field of chemistry that deals with the use of radioactive isotopes and other nuclear reactions. Nuclear chemists in academic environments often teach advanced chemistry and laboratory courses. Nuclear Reactors A nuclear reactor is a device in which nuclear reactions are generated, and the chain reaction is controlled to release large amount of steady heat, thereby producing energy. Ancient alchemists attempted but failed to turn different substances into gold. 2. The reason fission occurs is that energy upsets the balance between the electrostatic repulsion between positively-charged protons and the strong nuclear force that holds protons and neutrons together.