nuclear reactor

GC: n

CT: A nuclear reactor produces and controls the release of energy from splitting the atoms of certain elements. In a nuclear power reactor, the energy released is used as heat to make steam to generate electricity. (In a research reactor the main purpose is to utilise the actual neutrons produced in the core. In most naval reactors, steam drives a turbine directly for propulsion.) The principles for using nuclear power to produce electricity are the same for most types of reactor. The energy released from continuous fission of the atoms of the fuel is harnessed as heat in either a gas or water, and is used to produce steam.

S: WN – (last access: 16 December 2016)

N: 1. nuclear (adj): 1841, “of or like the nucleus of a cell,” from nucleus + -ar, probably by influence of French nucléaire. Use in atomic physics is from 1914; of weapons, from 1945. Hence nuclear physics (1933), nuclear energy (1941), nuclear war (1954).
reactor (n): “one that reacts,” 1835, agent noun in Latin form from react (from re- + act as verb). Chemical sense is from 1944.
2. A device containing fissionable material in sufficient quantity and so arranged as to be capable of maintaining controlled, self-sustaining nuclear fission chain reaction.
3. The world’s first nuclear reactors operated naturally in a uranium deposit about two billion years ago. These were in rich uranium orebodies and moderated by percolating rainwater. The 17 known at Oklo in west Africa, each less than 100 kW thermal, together consumed about six tonnes of that uranium. It is assumed that these were not unique worldwide.
4. Nuclear reactors are powered by fuel containing fissile material. The fission process releases large amounts of useful energy and for this reason the fissioning components – U-235 and/or Pu- 239 – must be held in a robust physical form capable of enduring high operating temperatures and an intense neutron radiation environment. Fuel structures need to maintain their shape and integrity over a period of several years within the reactor core, thereby preventing the leakage of fission products into the reactor coolant.
5. nuclear reactor; reactor: terms standardized by ISO.

S: 1. OED – (last access: 2 January 2017). 2. TERMIUM PLUS – (last access: 2 January 2017). 3. WN – (last access: 16 December 2016 ). 4.WN – (last access: 16 December 2016). 5. TERMIUM PLUS – (last access: 2 January 2017).

SYN: atomic reactor, reactor, atomic pile (obsolete), unit (less frequent).

S: TERMIUM PLUS – (last access: 2 January 2017)

CR: linear accelerator, nuclear energy, nuclear fission, particle accelerator.