breeder reactor


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Wikipedia.

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
..... Click the link for more information.
.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.

S. A. SKVORTSOV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

breeder reactor

[′brēd·ər rē′ak·tər]
(nucleonics)
A nuclear reactor that produces more fissionable material that it consumes.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

breeder reactor

a type of nuclear reactor that produces more fissionable material than it consumes
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The report also stated that the ultimate safety of a breeder reactor could be proven only by operating one.
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.
The government's Japan Atomic Energy Commission was apologetic, suggesting that no checks were imposed on controlling costs for the development of the fast breeder reactor.
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.
The report concludes: "The problems with fast breeder reactors make it hard to dispute Admiral Hyman Rickover's summation in 1956, based on his experience with a sodium-cooled reactor developed to power an early U.S.
Such breeder reactors will actually breed more fissionable fuel in the jackets than is consumed in the core, and this means that all the uranium and thorium supply of the world can serve as potential fission fuel, rather than the rare uranium-235 alone.