Swimming pool reactor

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The Pulstar reactor in the USA

A swimming pool reactor (also swimming pool reactor or water basin reactor ) is a research reactor , the reactor core of which is located in a water basin that is several meters deep and open at the top. This makes interventions and experiments for research purposes and training easy. Material samples, e.g. B. for the production of radionuclides for medical purposes, irradiated.

The water serves as a moderator and for cooling. When the reactor is switched off, the thick layer of water over the reactor core is also sufficient as a shield against radiation. The upper part of the installation room is then accessible. Such a design is not suitable for power reactors, because no sensible thermal efficiency could be achieved with the coolant at atmospheric pressure .

Several swimming pool reactors are or have been operated in Germany. The best known was the Munich FRM I research reactor , called the “Atomei” because of the external shape of its building. It was finally switched off on July 28, 2000 at 10:30 a.m. so that its successor FRM II could go into operation. With a nominal output of 20 MW, this is the largest research reactor in Germany.

The most powerful neutron source in the world, the maximum flux reactor in the ILL in Grenoble , is also a swimming pool reactor.


Individual evidence

  1. Krieger, see literature list

See also