I really didn't know that nuclear power plants are just fancy steam engines. Arun Sinha explains How Nuclear Power Works:
The U-235 is placed in a container in a nuclear reactor, where it absorbs neutrons. On being hit by a free neutron, the uranium atom splits into two smaller atoms (typically krypton and barium) and releases two to three neutrons and a huge amount of energy as heat. This event is known as fission.
Peppe Liberti presents two cool experiments you can do at home. The Science Education with makeshift equipment
· a transparent plastic lid of a container for CD or DVD
· a torch
· a screen (a piece of rigid paper, a wall, …)
· a thick brown sheet of paper
1. Construct, with thick brown paper, a cone with a small hole in the top 2 mm high and with the base slightly larger than the opening of the torch.
2. Place the paper cone on the torch.
3. Fill the lids of water (you can also add a little white tempera).
4. Point the torch on the outer edge of the lid.