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What is a nuclear reactor?

 Q:   Ask a Question about What is a nuclear reactor?       
What is a nuclear reactor? A nuclear reactor is used to control nuclear fission. In most reactors, uranium is encased in metal tubes that are inserted into the reactor. The tubes are surrounded by a moderator, such as graphite, that slows down the reaction.

In another form of reactor the fuel rods are surrounded by low-grade uranium, and the neutrons escaping from the reactor strike this material. The radiation converts the low-grade uranium into plutonium, which can be used as a nuclear fuel.

This type of reactor, called a fast-breeder reactor, produces more plutonium than it can use as fuel. Although this sounds very useful, plutonium is much more dangerous to handle than uranium, and there are serious safety problems in its use.


Tags: nuclear fission, energy



Category: Science & Tech  - ( Science & Tech Archive)

Date Added: 13 December '11


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