Nuclear Energy pp 149-157 | Cite as

Nuclear Reactor Materials and Fuels

  • James S. Tulenko
Reference work entry
Part of the Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology Series book series (ESSTS)


Austenitic stainless steel

Austenitic steels contain alloys of chromium and nickel (sometimes manganese and nitrogen) structured around the type 302 stainless steel composition of iron, 18% chromium, and 8% nickel. Austenitic steels are not hardenable by heat treatment. The most common austenitic stainless steel is type 304.


A measure of the energy generated by fuel atoms that undergo fission. It is normally quoted in megawatt-days per metric ton of uranium metal or its equivalent (MWd/MTU).

Core plate

In a reactor, the upper and lower core plates support the fuel channels and allow the cooling water into the fuel bundle and assures each fuel bundle is maintained equidistant from each other.

Fertile fuel

A material capable of creating a fissile fuel upon capture of a neutron. Examples are U238 and Th232 which create Pu239 and U233, respectively.

Fissile fuel

Capable of undergoing fission by thermal neutrons. The four primary nuclides are U233 U235, Pu239, and Pu241.



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    Knief R (1992) Nuclear engineering: theory and technology of commercial nuclear power, 2nd edn. Hemisphere, Washington, DC. ISBN 978-0-89448-458-2Google Scholar
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    Glasstone S, Sesonske A (1994) Nuclear reactor engineering: reactor design basics, vol 1. Chapman & Hall, New York. ISBN 0-442-20057-9Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory for Development of Advanced Nuclear Fuels and MaterialsUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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