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Magnox is an alloy—mainly of magnesium with small amounts of aluminium and other metals—used in cladding unenriched uranium metal fuel with a non-oxidising covering to contain fission products in nuclear reactors. Magnox is short for Magnesium non-oxidising. This material has the advantage of a low neutron capture cross section, but has two major disadvantages:
- It limits the maximum temperature (to about 415Celsius), and hence the thermal efficiency, of the plant.
- It reacts with water, preventing long-term storage of spent fuel under water in spent fuel pools.
- Magnox nuclear power reactors.