What is a "fast breeder" reactor?

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Offline chris

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What is a "fast breeder" reactor?
« on: 05/10/2008 22:53:33 »
Some nuclear reactors are described as being "fast breeders" that can recycle fuel. How does this work?

Chris
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Offline DoctorBeaver

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What is a "fast breeder" reactor?
« Reply #1 on: 06/10/2008 11:58:46 »
The reactor is surrounded by tubes containing Uranium238, which is non-fissile. The neutrons from the reaction interact with the U238 to produce U239 which is fissile and can then be used as fuel for the reactor.
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Offline chris

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What is a "fast breeder" reactor?
« Reply #2 on: 06/10/2008 12:06:12 »
Sounds risky - could the reaction run-away with itself?

Chris
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Offline DoctorBeaver

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What is a "fast breeder" reactor?
« Reply #3 on: 06/10/2008 12:33:54 »
No, because the U239 needs to be put into the reactor for fission to take place.
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Online syhprum

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What is a "fast breeder" reactor?
« Reply #4 on: 06/10/2008 17:34:33 »
The prototype fast breeder reactor at Dounray ran for 25 years with no reactor mishaps but was eventually abandoned due to waste handling mishaps and economic considerations.
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Offline RD

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What is a "fast breeder" reactor?
« Reply #5 on: 06/10/2008 23:25:30 »
The prototype fast breeder reactor at Dounray ran for 25 years with no reactor mishaps
 but was eventually abandoned due to waste handling mishaps...

That's an understatement...

Quote
UK Atomic Energy Authority admitted that 170kg of weapons-grade enriched uranium had disappeared from Dounreay -
 enough to make a dozen atomic bombs.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/107158.stm
« Last Edit: 06/10/2008 23:28:38 by RD »

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Offline rosalind dna

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What is a "fast breeder" reactor?
« Reply #6 on: 07/10/2008 14:05:20 »
Chris
In 1957 there was a huge reactor fire in Windscale (now called Sellafield) and caused loads of damage, that was until the
"Three Mile Island" reactor fire

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windscale_fire
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Mile_Island_accident

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sellafield
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Offline Evie

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What is a "fast breeder" reactor?
« Reply #7 on: 07/10/2008 19:03:49 »
Chris
In 1957 there was a huge reactor fire in Windscale (now called Sellafield) and caused loads of damage, that was until the
"Three Mile Island" reactor fire

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windscale_fire
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Mile_Island_accident

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sellafield

Those were not breeder reactors, though, I believe.
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