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May24-10, 12:01 AM
Well, water has a really high specific heat capacity; something like liquid sodium or some other metal is actually inferior to water in terms of its heat capacity. But you need something fairly heavy as the coolant so it's not moderating the neutrons, and the liquid metals meet that requirement whilst also providing reasonably good specific heat capacity, even though the specific heat capacity would strictly speaking be inferior to water.
It's not just specific heat - but density and heat transfer properties.
If you take those into account - liquid sodium is a MUCH, MUCH BETTER coolant than water.
Dr. Gregory Greenman