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The ongoing effort to convert the world’s research reactors
The Ghana Research Reactor-1, located in Accra, Ghana, was converted from HEU fuel to LEU in 2017. Photo: Argonne National Laboratory
In late 2018, Nigeria’s sole operating nuclear research reactor, NIRR-1, switched to a safer uranium fuel. Coming just 18 months on the heels of a celebrated conversion in Ghana, the NIRR-1 reboot passed without much fanfare. However, the switch marked an important global milestone: NIRR-1 was the last of Africa’s 11 operating research reactors to run on high-enriched uranium fuel.
The 40-year effort to make research reactors safer and more secure by replacing HEU fuel with low-enriched uranium is marked by a succession of quiet but immeasurably significant milestones like these. Before Africa, a team of engineers from many organizations, including the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, concluded its conversion work in South America and Australia. Worldwide, 71 reactors in nearly 40 countries have undergone conversions to LEU, defined as less than 20 percent uranium-235. Another 31 research reactors have been permanently shut down.
Richard E. Faw, Ken Shultis
Item ID: 350021|ISBN: 978-0-89448-456-8
2000|1st Edition|537 pages
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This book is intended for dual use as a textbook for students in radiation shielding courses and a reference work for shielding practitioners. It emphasizes the principles behind techniques used in various aspects of shield analysis and presents these principles in many different contexts. This approach is intended to provide a strong base of understanding in order to facilitate use of the large shielding codes that have come to dominate shielding design and analysis. An assumption is made that the reader has an understanding of mathematics through basic calculus and vector analysis as well as a knowledge of the nuclear physics of radioactive decay. For most chapters, problem sets are provided.