Nuclear reactor Definition and 6 Discussions

A nuclear reactor, formerly known as an atomic pile, is a device used to initiate and control a fission nuclear chain reaction or nuclear fusion reactions. Nuclear reactors are used at nuclear power plants for electricity generation and in nuclear marine propulsion. Heat from nuclear fission is passed to a working fluid (water or gas), which in turn runs through steam turbines. These either drive a ship's propellers or turn electrical generators' shafts. Nuclear generated steam in principle can be used for industrial process heat or for district heating. Some reactors are used to produce isotopes for medical and industrial use, or for production of weapons-grade plutonium. As of early 2019, the IAEA reports there are 454 nuclear power reactors and 226 nuclear research reactors in operation around the world.

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  1. jugren

    Scaling nuclear reactors

    Hi all, For my studies I chose a course on scaling up and down of industrial processes (mostly focussed on the chemical industry), but for our project we (a group of students who knew almost nothing about nuclear reactors) chose to look if the approach (dimensional analysis) can be applied to...
  2. Dimitris Catzis

    Proper simulation code for a Nuclear Reactor core

    Hi, I want to make a simple nuclear reactor core simulation to calculate the thermal power production. Is there any open source code with interface (or not) that you recommend to use? The core have cylindrical shape with Uranium( up to 90% enriched) molybdenum fuel,Beryllium reflector and one...
  3. Kirk Truax

    BWR Fuel Assembly Question -- Why do BWRs have shrouds?

    Hey all, I was wondering if anyone could help me with a basic BWR question. Why do BWRs have shrouds? From what I've been able to find, this is a for "uniform cooling" but that's about it. My guess is that there are some thermal hydraulic benefits around maintaining nucleate boiling. Is...
  4. Kirk Truax

    PWR Refueling Systems and Procedures

    Hey all, I was wondering if anyone can help me out with understanding the PWR refueling process? I'm an undergrad getting introduced to these systems and was hoping there was someone in the industry that might have some insight into the details of this. In regard to the removal of the old...
  5. K

    B Why uranium dioxide is used in nuclear reactors?

    In Wikipedia I read that Uranium-235 is a nuclear is fuel in fission reactors, also that Uranium-235 is split (fission) and energy is revealed. But in some images showing how nuclear reactors work, they show Uranium dioxide as nuclear fuel elements. In Wikipedia, it's written that the oxides...
  6. rfranceschetti

    Engineering Mech engineering work in nuclear reactors

    Hi all, I would like to know what's the kind of work a mechanical engineer has to perform when being part of the team encharged of building a fusion or a generic nuclear reactor. I find many areas in mechanical engineering attractive, but I believe that fusion reactors have great potential in...