Heavy-Water Reactor


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Related to Heavy-Water Reactor: Fast breeder reactor, CANDU reactor

heavy-water reactor

[′hev·ē ¦wȯd·ər rē′ak·tər]
(nucleonics)
A nuclear reactor in which heavy water serves as moderator and sometimes also as coolant.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Heavy-Water Reactor

 

a thermal reactor in which heavy water (D20) serves as the moderator. Because heavy water has a small neutron capture cross section, a heavy-water reactor may contain an extremely large fraction of fuel in the process of being generated as the original fuel is burned; the ratio of the weight of newly produced fuel to that of the burned fuel may be as high as 0.9. Ordinary water, heavy water, and certain gases, for example, steam and carbon dioxide, are used as coolants in heavy-water reactors.

Table 4. Production of diesel engines in the USSR1
 1940195019701975
1 Excluding motor-vehicle and tractor engines
General-purpose diesels:    
units. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12,14054,32259,62765,235
total horsepower. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .469,9008,830,70016,158,00018,230,600

Construction and operating costs of heavy-water reactors are high because of the price of heavy water. The reactors are therefore used in industry only in countries where heavy water can be produced relatively cheaply, such as in Canada, where the electric power supplied by the country’s hydroelectric power plants costs very little.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Removing the core of the heavy-water reactor to produce less plutonium is a crucial step before the relief from sanctions starts.
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An explosion at Iran's heavy-water reactor will delay the construction of the controversial nuclear plant at Arak in western Iran, according to Israeli website Debkafile, which has close contacts with Mossad and other intelligence services in the Jewish state.
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Iran has been a building a heavy-water reactor near the plant for two years, but the reactor is not scheduled for completion until 2009, the Associated Press reported.
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