CATALOG OF NUCLEAR REACTOR CONCEPTS
- D. Yu. Chuvilin,
- V. E. Khvostionov,
- D. V. Markovskij,
- V. A. Pavshouk and
- V. A. Zagryadsky
NRC “Kurchatov Institute” Russian Federation
There is an old dispute what is more valuable in work of atomic power stations – the electric power or by-products of its operation – produced stable and radioactive isotopes. Among the experts in reactors physics and techniques, an opinion prevails that nuclear reactors make profit exclusively from electric power production on atomic power stations. However some specialists consider this opinion rather far from a real state of things.
In the early nineties on the initiative of the American Council for Energy Awareness, USCEA, detailed research of influence of nuclear and radiating technologies (except for defensive) on national economy of the USA (Rabotnov, 1999) was undertaken. It consisted of two parts. In one part applications of radioactive materials in the industry, medicine and scientific researches were only considered, in the other – actually nuclear power, that is electric power production at atomic power stations. Results have surprised both authors of the report, and customers. First, the scale of figures. It appeared, that the total annual volume of the business connected with radioisotopes application in the United States made 257 billion dollars in 1991. Secondly, this sum appeared three and a half times more than the full cost of the nuclear electric power (73 billion dollars). Radioisotopes are used in eight various branches, 3.7 million persons of almost five hundred specialties are employed in this activity that makes about three percent of full employment in the USA. The total product of 330 billion dollars means that the nuclear-power and radiation complex of the USA looks as the eleventh on size a world industrial state.
Actually nuclear reactors are “generators” of a large amount of artificial radioisotopes, basic of which are fission products and actinium series. It is assumed to consider as fission products not only the radioisotopes got directly as a result of heavy nuclei fissions, but also the radioisotopes formed as a result of radioactive transformations and nuclear reactions of type