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GE to Turn World's Biggest Civilian Plutonium Stoc

ambermichelle (2318196) writes | more than 2 years ago

Science 0

ambermichelle (2318196) writes "GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy has proposed to the U.K. government to build an advanced nuclear reactor that would consume the country’s stockpile of radioactive plutonium. The technology called PRISM, or Power Reactor Innovative Small Module, would use the plutonium to generate low-carbon electricity.

The U.K. has the world’s largest civilian stockpile of plutonium. The size of the stockpile is 87 tons and growing.

Nuclear reactors unlock energy by splitting atoms of the material stored in fuel rods. This process is called fission. For fission to be effective, neutrons – the nuclear particles that do the splitting and keep the reaction going – must maintain the right speed. Conventional reactors use water to cool and slow down neutrons, keeping fission effective. But water-cooled reactors leave some 95 percent of the fuel’s potential energy untapped."

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