a nuclear reactor designed for radiation-chemical processes (seeRADIATION-CHEMICAL PROCESSES). The ionization and excitation of molecules of substances, which participate in reactions or are subjected to irradiation, are achieved in chemonuclear reactors at the expense of the energy of fission fragments of heavy nuclei and neutron radiation and gamma radiation, or only gamma radiation.
Chemonuclear reactors have a number of special features. When the energy of the fission fragments of heavy nuclei is used, the nuclear fuel slugs are not shielded against the fission fragments; the nuclear fuel is given a highly developed surface, around which a reagent, ammonia, flows. When both neutron radiation and gamma radiation are used together, a special chamber for the irradiated material is installed in the reactor core. When the radiation-chemical process is realized as a result of gamma radiation alone, the reactors are equipped with a radiation loop, allowing processes to proceed outside the core.
The industrial use of chemonuclear reactors in which the radiation-chemical processes occur in the core is hindered by the considerable radioactive contamination of the reaction products; such reactors underwent intensive experimental development in the mid-1970’s. There is no induced radioactivity of the reaction products in chemonuclear reactors with radiation loops.
IU. I. KORIAKIN