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Light Water Graphite Reactor

 

Light Water Graphite Reactor (RBMK)

The Soviet designed RBMK was developed from plutonium production reactors.

 

Figure 5 (Courtesy of the World Nuclear Association)

This reactor uses graphite as the moderator, water as the coolant, and low-enriched uranium oxide fuel. It has 7-meter vertical pressure tubes that contain the 3.5-meter fuel assemblies all of which are cooled by water.

The water is allowed to boil in the reactor core at 290C, similarly to the Boiling Water Reactor. However, excess boiling can reduce the cooling and neutron absorption without inhibiting the fission reaction, and a positive feedback problem can arise, causing a runaway chain reaction.

For more info on these and other reactor designs visit the World Nuclear Association at http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf32.htm

 

Written and created by Cami Idzerda. Last updated 11/29/2001. 

Email: CIdzerda@aol.com