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Light water graphite-moderated reactor[edit]

Please see comments in Talk:Light water graphite-moderated reactor.

There may also still be material in Light water graphite-moderated reactor that should be incorporated in this entry, but in my judgement the remainder belongs in other entries.

This is explored in more detail in Talk:Light water graphite-moderated reactor. -- Andrewa 10:37 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Weapons grade plutonium[edit]

I was under the belief that RBMK reactors produced "weapons-grade" plutonium. It seems I was wrong. So, what is the nature of the plutonium produced, and how much processing does it require before being weapons-grade? -- FP 04:33, Mar 4, 2005 (UTC)

When you make plutonium for weapons, you expose U-238 to neutrons, and it turns (indirectly) into Pu-239. If you expose Pu-239 to neutrons, it turns into the useless Pu-240. So the way you make weapons-grade plutonium is by exposing uranium to neutrons for a while (not long), then chemically extracting the plutonium. Easier than isotope separation, but still nontrivial (especially since the various components are poisonous and radioactive).
RBMKs were designed to make this easy by having big cranes to hoist hunks of uranium in and out of the reactor so that they could be exposed to neutrons for an appropriate amount of time; this made it infeasible to have a proper containment structure.
I should say that since reactors are all full of uranium, they all produce plutonium, but when the isotopes are mixed (because of long exposure) and they're mixed with all the other crud that's in a used fuel pellet, it's a real pain to use it for weapons. --Andrew 09:20, Mar 4, 2005 (UTC)
I've added stuff to plutonium explaining some of this. --Andrew 13:11, Mar 4, 2005 (UTC)

Natural or Enriched Uranium Fuel?[edit]

There seems to be inconsistency about this in the article in its current state. Midgley 03:04, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Very much so indeed: how can we conciliate "Thus, a large power reactor can be built that requires no separated isotopes, such as enriched uranium or heavy water" (from the intro) with "... , the concentration of the naturally fissionable U-235 isotope in uranium used to fuel light-water reactors must be increased above the level of natural uranium to assist in sustaining the nuclear chain reaction in the reactor core..." (2nd paragraph of "Design" section) ? Rama 07:44, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

What exploded[edit]

I have removed the words cooling system from the article. They were added by an anon in a recent and so far isolated edit.

But more to the point, they make the article less informative and no more accurate. It wasn't the steam separators or any other part of the cooling system that exploded, it was the top part of the reactor core. What I think this editor is trying to point out is that it wasn't a nuclear explosion, in that (probably) prompt-criticality did not occur (it's hard to say definitively). But this is really splitting hairs; The energy for the first of the two loud bangs certainly came from a runaway and uncontrolled nuclear reaction, and this explosive energy release destroyed the reactor cooling system (and possibly lifted the top plate, again it's hard to say and the experts disagree on which of the bangs actually did this). Andrewa 09:03, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

I work in the nuclear industry and would like to clarify. It has been shown by international authorities that it is most likely that as a result of the massively increased reactor power, the internal core pressure tubes failed, creating a steam explosion which lifted to top-shield off the reactor and causing the cooling pipes located there (the were attached to this sheild) to also ail. To say what exploded hides the actual porgression of the accident.

Okay, who wrote the second part of this section? If you could sign your post, please... it might make your statement more credible... Magus732 (talk) 16:11, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Reactor Class[edit]

This is a generation II nuclear reactor (albeit poorly constructed).


In russian article on this reactor there is reference to a follow-up project, focusing on removing positive void coeff, futher enhancing general efficiency and lowering fuel:power ratio, with ability to generate anuthe radioactive matter, this time not weapon plutonium but rather medicine cobalt —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 23:24, 26 April 2007 (UTC).

Neat - they show a full containment and actually use the word "containment" (using Russian letters). Simesa 23:42, 26 April 2007 (UTC)


What does the phrase "Unfortunately, such a configuration is also unstable." means? What kind of "stability"?... And what about that link to "stability" that doesn't explain absolutely nothing?

Is this simply a reference to the positive void coefficient? This phrase should either be better explained, or removed. -- NIC1138 (talk) 16:57, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

  • Maybe it refers to what happened at Chernobyl? I'd find out who wrote it and ask them... Magus732 (talk) 16:07, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Simple mixtures?[edit]

What is said in this article makes me wonder: is it possible to simply take some natural uranium metal or even a naturally occurring uranium mineral, grind it up with boron-free carbon (lamp black?) and dump the mixture into a container whose size would determine how hot it would get? From what is claimed in the article the notion of Neolithic nuclear power (well, heating) doesn't seem so impossible. Wnt (talk) 21:22, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Forget neolithic, check out Natural nuclear fission reactor. -- (talk) 22:45, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

RBMK-1000 or MKER-1000?[edit]

MKER says that Kursk-5 is an MKER-1000 - a newer version of RBMK with a full containment structure and passive safety. This page says that Kursk-5 is an RBMK. Which statement is true? --Tweenk (talk) 19:43, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Kursk-5 is an RBMK-1000. But the active zone of the reactor also the physical characteristic is like an MKER-1000. Any person always deletes in the article MKEK the word physical before the word prototype. Greetings ChNPP (talk) 09:46, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

List of references for locations of detonations[edit]

Is the above phrase in reference no. 26 a vandalism? (talk) 15:14, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Yes, it is vandalism. I delete the sentence. Best Regards ChNPP (talk) 16:46, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Erroneous containment system values[edit]

"The reactor vessel is a steel cylinder with outer diameter of 14.52 m (47 ft 8 in), wall thickness 16 m (52 ft 6 in), height 9.75 m (32 ft 0 in), and is equipped with a bellows compensator to absorb axial thermal expansion loads."

A wall thickness greater than the outer diameter of the vessel? I don't know where I'd find more accurate data, but this is clearly incorrect. (talk) 01:24, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

The proper thickness is 16mm, not 16m; I just fixed it. It was broken on 03:48, 23 April 2011 by an edit which added the convert templates. -- (talk) 12:45, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Yeah... I don't know how I missed that... Magus732 (talk) 16:09, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Light water vs. heavy needing enriched fuel[edit]

In the design flaws section it is incorrect to state that heavy water requires enriched uranium "because it does not absorb neutrons". The opposite is true, light water requires enriched uranium for neutron economy. CANDU reactors are a prime example of using heavy water to enable use of unenriched uranium. The author has already stated the correct reason for using graphite rather than heavy water as a moderator, that being that heavy water is rare and was being used for military applications. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:56, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Graphite Tips[edit]

What was the motivation behind this design feature of the control rods? This must have had some sort of intended purpose, otherwise as it being counter intuitive would not have made it into the design. Hogdotmac (talk) 03:44, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

This information is already in the article and was so on the 30th May. (talk) 11:17, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Thermal ratings[edit]

The thermal output of the reactor plants is missing. The RBMK-1000, for example, is rated for 1 GWe. The little "e" is electric output. Not to be technical, but this is a very important little "e" that is likely misunderstood. It should be a subscript, not kust little.

Anyway, I would assume that the thermal output is around 3 GW. Or I should say 3 GWt. I like to saw logs! (talk) 07:45, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

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