Fission splits atoms. Fusion combines them.

Fission splits atoms. Fusion combines them.

Fission uses elements like uranium and plutonium. Fusion uses hydrogen.

Fission uses elements like uranium and plutonium. Fusion uses hydrogen.

Fission creates radioactive waste. Fusion creates helium.

Fission creates radioactive waste. Fusion creates helium.

Fission takes place in nuclear power plants. Fusion will be done in a fusion power reactor (once a functioning one is created).

Fission takes place in nuclear power plants. Fusion will be done in a fusion power reactor (once a functioning one is created).

Fission produces much more energy than fossil fuel sources. Fusion produces even more than fission!

Fission produces much more energy than fossil fuel sources. Fusion produces even more than fission!

Fission vs. Fusion

Posted: March 1, 2022

Let’s compare!

How are fission and fusion alike? Both are processes that produce energy from atoms. How are they different? Consider all of this!

Fission splits a larger atom into two or more smaller ones.
Fusion joins two or more lighter atoms into a larger one.

Fission uses elements such as uranium and plutonium. They are radioactive. (These elements are unstable. They release radiation over time.)
Fusion uses hydrogen—a very common element.

Fission produces energy—and dangerous nuclear waste. That radioactive material must be stored carefully for a very long time.
Fusion produces energy—and helium. This element can be used in other ways.

Fission creates a million times more energy than fossil-fuel sources like coal and natural gas.
Fusion creates three to four times more energy than fission!