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 ?
In 1955, Detroit Edison proposed the construction of the world's first commercial breeder reactor.
will be put under facilities-specific safeguards," and that no research and development will be put under safeguards, including the prototype fast breeder reactor and facilities at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR).
The idea [behind this competition] was to innovate--to let your mind flow freely and not to let it get stuck on the Clinch River configuration," notes John Graham, who until last April had been a breeder reactor designer with Westinghouse.
Cost for Fast Breeder Reactors 1&2 is yet to be finalised.
The government has repeatedly been putting off the target date to commercialize a fast breeder reactor.
He further added that the background for creating indigenous fast breeder reactor technology by including250 organisations.
The Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre Sekhar Basu has revealed that the country s maiden 500-MW prototype fast breeder reactor is ready to go critical by the end of 2014.
The ECIL s achievements in the last financial year comprise installation of control and instrumentation equipment at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) and the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) at Kalpakkam.
One more power unit in Tamil Nadu at Kalpakkam with 500MW capaity and prototype fast breeder reactor, which is presently in advanced construction stage, is expected to enter in to operations in 2013.
Fast breeder reactors gain their name for their ability to use fast unmoderated neutrons to breed fissile plutonium and possibly higher transuranics from uranium.
These Japanese firms are the flag bearers of most advancements in nuclear technology, including light water reactors, fast breeder reactors and the advanced boiled water reactors.
The plant will use spent fuel from indigenous nuclear power plants for fast breeder reactors.