What type of reactor is the Chernobyl design?
Date: Around 1993
Texts say Chernobyl was a high-pressure water reactor, navy
nuclear expert says it used sodium. Does anybody know and can suggest
Here are the facts. The RBMK-1000 is water cooled. The water is
under pressure. The moderator was graphite which did not have a separate
cooling system so when the primary cooling system (the only one) was shut
down, the moderator got very hot and being graphite could actually burn in
oxygen. It contained 115 Kg of uranium in fuel assemblies that each contained
18, 13.6mm diameter rods of Uranium. The water was not deuterium oxide, but
regular water. The confinement system was not complete and that is why it
went up. We have a lecture that was given here at Argonne by a safety
engineer and if you are interested we could send you a copy. It is very
technical. IF you would write a letter to S. Bowen, DEP, ANL, Argonne, IL
60439, I would pass the request for references on to our local expert. The
moderator is graphite. You are right. The collisions are to be elastic.
There are some small inelastic energy transfers to vibrations in the
moderator. In practice there will be both types of collisions with the
moderator. The inelastic collisions will cool the neutrons and the elastic
will rearrange the momentum distributions.
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Update: June 2012