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No More Tragedies at Nuclear Power Plants
13.07.2011 14:40
No More Tragedies at Nuclear Power Plants
Zirconium fuel elements

Russian scientists and engineers from Tomsk and Cherepovets have come up with a new alloy for making crucial components for nuclear power plants.

      NPP reactors contain so-called fuel elements, made of metal and containing “pellets” of uranium dioxide. This metal is zirconium, since it is the almost only metal, suitable for conditions of working zone in a nuclear power plant, due to its small thermal-neutron capture cross-section and high melting temperature. However, sometime zirconium pipes break, and there is no other way of fixing them than re-melting.

      New alloy for fuel elements has higher durability, and new fuel elements can operate for 5-6 years instead of three, as existing elements do.

      Source: Science & Life

Author: Anna Kizilova

Tags: nuclear energy physics technology nuclear power plant  

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