DMPQ: What are the benefits of fast breeder reactor?

:  A fast breeder reactor (FBR) breeds more fuel than it consumes that is it produces more plutonium than it consumes while generating power. For a uranium scarce country like India, it is an attractive technology. Plutonium produced in the thermal reactors as spent fuel is ideally suitable as the fuel material for use in the FBR due to its high fission neutron yield.

  • Since the number of neutrons produced in plutonium fission is high, it helps to produce more plutonium from uranium (U238) used as a blanket surrounding the fuel core of the FBR.
  • FBR also consumes less uranium and that too very effectively. While the thermal reactors exploit only 0.6 per cent uranium, a FBR utilizes 70-75 per cent of it. Thus, it leaves less radioactive waste to dispose of. In fact, many scientists in India prefer FBRs for the same reason.


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