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Question:
Which is more efficient: a breeder reactor or a nuclear fission one? Why?



Replies:
A breeder reactor IS a fission reactor. It is a much more efficient version of a fission reactor because it "breeds" new fuel while consuming the old fuel. This is possible because the fission reactions release lots of neutrons that can be used to transform certain non-useful isotopes into useful isotopes or elements - in particular Plutonium is generally a product of breeder reactors. However, plutonium is also rather hazardous and dangerous for reasons associated with proliferation of nuclear weapons, so breeder reactors have not been very popular in the U.S. They are widely used in other countries though (Japan and France I think).

Arthur Smith



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