Lect14 -- Nuclear Principles

Lect14 Nuclear Principles

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Unformatted text preview: 3% http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf23.html Yellow cake to fuel pellets We need “enriched” 235U for fission reactors “Yellowcake” = dried and filtered U after refining at plant… remember that this is mostly 238U Uranium enrichment Isotopes Natural Reactor Bomb 235U 0.7% 5% 90% 238U 99.3% 95% 10% Remember that 238U is not fissile… and enrichment is not easy, making this a huge roadblock to nuclear ambitions Methods for U enrichment: 1.  Gaseous diffusion (being phased out) 2.  Centrifugation 3.  Laser excitation NOTE: 5% of the power generated by fission goes into enrichment Uranium enrichment by centrifugation Depleted uranium: The stuff left over Most stored as UF6 in tanks at enrichment plants Some used in military applications Problems with DU: Chemical toxicity Weak radioactivity Environmental concerns Breeder reactors: How to make more fuel! •  The finite resource problem goes away under a breeder reactor program •  Neutrons can attach to the non-fissile 238U to become 239U –  beta-decays into 239Np with half-life of 24 minutes ...
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This document was uploaded on 12/05/2013.

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