Nuclear Power: “Too cheap to meter” Ready Kilowatt Nuclear Fuel Cycle Uranium production in the U.S. Nuclear Fuel Cycle What is “nuclear fission”? U-235 + 1 neutron = U-236 U-236 splits into: 2 neutrons + byproducts + ENERGY Light Water Reactors Boiling Water Reactor
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Boiling Water Reactor
Pressurized Water Reactor
Nuclear fission reactors used in Canada use heavy water as the moderator in their reactors. Since the deuterium in heavy water is slightly more effective in slowing down the neutrons from the fission reactions, the uranium fuel needs no enrichment and can be used as mined. The Canadian style reactors are commonly called CANDU reactors.
What factors point toward its resurgence?
What factors point toward its continued dormancy?
What about nuclear power in the developing world?
Under appropriate operating conditions, the neutrons given off by fission reactions can "breed" more fuel from otherwise non-fissionable isotopes. The most common breeding reaction is that of plutonium-239 from non-fissionable uranium-238. The term "fast breeder" refers to the types of configurations which can actually produce more fissionable fuel than they use. France has made the largest implementation of breeder reactors with its large Super-Phenix reactor and an intermediate scale reactor (BN-600) on the Caspian Sea for electric power and desalinization.