breeder reactor

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breeder reactor:

see nuclear reactornuclear reactor,
device for producing controlled release of nuclear energy. Reactors can be used for research or for power production. A research reactor is designed to produce various beams of radiation for experimental application; the heat produced is a waste product and is
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Breeder Reactor


a nuclear reactor in which an initial quantity of nuclear fuel is consumed and then reproduced in a greater quantity as a fissile nuclear fuel. As a rule, both the fuel consumed and the fuel produced in the reactor are made up of the same chemical element, either plutonium or uranium. Fuel is produced as a result of the interaction of the neutrons released in the fission of the initial fuel with the nuclei of a substance known as the fuel blanket (source material), which is placed in the reactor. In uranium-plutonium fast-breeder reactors 239Pu serves as the initial fuel, and 238U as the fuel blanket. The fissile material produced, 239Pu, is formed through the capture of free neutrons by the uranium nuclei. In uranium-thorium fast or slow breeder reactors, 233U serves as the initial fuel, and 232Th as the fuel blanket; 233U is the fuel produced. The doubling time, the time in which the mass of the produced fuel becomes twice as great as the beginning mass of the initial fuel, is an important quantity characterizing the operation of a breeder reactor.

The only natural nuclear fuel is 235U, and it constitutes in the natural mixture of uranium isotopes only 0.71 percent. Breeder reactors thus markedly increase the fuel base of the nuclear power industry by employing substances that cannot themselves sustain a fission reaction. Therefore, in the industrially developed countries, great attention is devoted to the problem of constructing reliable and economical breeder reactors. In the USSR, such work was started in 1949 under the direction of A. I. Leipunskii. After the construction of a series of experimental breeder reactors, the first large breeder reactor in the world, the BN-350, went into operation in 1973 at a 150-megawatt nuclear power plant in the city of Shevchenko in the Kazakh SSR. A BN-600 breeder reactor, designed for use in a 600-megawatt plant, is currently under construction.


breeder reactor

[′brēd·ər rē′ak·tər]
A nuclear reactor that produces more fissionable material that it consumes.

breeder reactor

a type of nuclear reactor that produces more fissionable material than it consumes
References in periodicals archive ?
The stated purpose of this reactor was to show that a complete breeder reactor power plant could operate successfully and reprocess nuclear fuel.
Under Zinn, Argonne built the first experimental breeder reactor, EBR-1, on its Idaho Falls, Idaho, site.
Mycle Schneider, Paris, international consultant on energy and nuclear policy, said: "France built with Superphenix, the only commercial-size plutonium fueled breeder reactor in nuclear history.
The government has repeatedly been putting off the target date to commercialize a fast breeder reactor.
Jitendra Singh mentioned the 3-stage nuclear power programme with Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) in the first stage, Fast Breeder Reactors in the second stage and Thorium based reactors to be put up in the third stage.
The plant will use spent fuel from indigenous nuclear power plants for fast breeder reactors.
The moisture separator reheaters, which are included in the study, are used in pressurized water reactors, pressurized heavy water reactors, light water graphite reactors, gas cooled reactors, fast breeder reactors and boiling water reactors.
Breeder reactors offer a self-sustaining source of energy.
working on breeder reactors, reactors for submarines and experimental techniques in reactor physics.
The evolution of indigenous design and building of thorium-based Fast Breeder Reactors (FBR) by the Indian technocrats would make the country as a global technological leader in the field of N- power in near future, Kakodkar said.
A member of a government panel discussing Japan's nuclear policy on Tuesday called for the need to abandon Japan's current plan to reprocess all spent nuclear fuel, citing uncertainties over the practical use of fast breeder reactors, which would play a key role in the plan.