Wigner energy

Wigner energy

[′wig·nər ‚en·ər·jē]
(nucleonics)
Energy that is stored in graphite structures forming part of a nuclear reactor when carbon atoms in the graphite are displaced by bombarding neutrons.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Irradiated graphite accumulates energy known as Wigner energy, which caused the UK's worst nuclear accident in 1957.
Havens of Columbia University in New York City suggest instead that a graphite fire may have been ignited during the attempted removal of "Wigner energy'--a phenomenon that occurs when neutrons, set free by nuclear fissions in the uranium oxide fuel, bounce off carbon atoms in the graphite.