Why Nuclear?

Lunch Discussion

Olin College, Needham, MA

October 31, 2017

Kathryn (Katy) Huff

Chain reaction

An academic reactor or reactor plant almost always has the following basic characteristics: (1) It is simple. (2) It is small. (3) It is cheap. (4) It is light. (5) It can be built very quickly. (6) It is very flexible in purpose. (7) Very little development will be required. It will use off-the-shelf components. (8) The reactor is in the study phase. It is not being built now.

On the other hand a practical reactor can be distinguished by the following characteristics: (1) It is being built now. (2) It is behind schedule. (3) It requires an immense amount of development on apparently trivial items. (4) It is very expensive. (5) It takes a long time to build because of its engineering development problems. (6) It is large. (7) It is heavy. (8) It is complicated.

\[^{235}U\\ ^{233}U\\ ^{239}Pu\\ ^{241}Pu\]

Source: whatisnuclear.net

Coolants: $H_2O$, $D_2O$, $CO_2$, $He$, $Na$, $Pb$, molten salts

Moderators: $H_2O$, $D_2O$, graphite, $Li$, $Be$

Nuclear Energy Today

Domestic Nuclear Fleet


Creative Commons 
Why Nuclear? by Kathryn Huff is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://katyhuff.github.io/2017-10-31-olin.