Other Types of Nuclear Reactors

9.2.3.2.1 Heavy Water Reactors

Light water reactors are far and away the most common reactors in operation, but the pressurized heavy water reactor (also known as the CANDU reactor for Canadian deuterium uranium) should be noted because it uses heavy water in the role of cool­ant and moderator and, as a result, can make use of natural uranium fuel, bypassing the expense of uranium enrichment. Deuterium does not absorb neutrons as effec­tively as light water, so the nuclear reaction can be sustained without having to use a higher proportion of the U-235 in the fuel. (Graphite, too, is a moderator that can be used with natural uranium fuel.)

Updated: September 25, 2015 — 7:01 am