According to http://pissinontheroses.blogspot.com...l-uranium.html Fukushima consumed 570 tons of uranium every year. A TEPCO audit at http://criepi.denken.or.jp/result/ev...powerpoint.pdf showed that 1760 tons of spent fuel was stored on site. 3.5 pounds in a research reactor, whilst concerning, is a qualitatively different proposition.
Originally Posted by RattyMouse
Also, the reactor type suggests that it was subcritical - i.e. not enough nuclear material to sustain a chain reaction, so no danger of runaway as happened at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima. Instead, it used the natural decay of Californium to trigger a subcritical chain reaction in the Uranium to increase the number of neutrons produced. [Edit] This is confirmed by the decomissioning plan found on the web, which states:
"The CFX was a sub-critical assembly of uranium-235 surrounding a Cf-252 source.
The function of the U-235 fuel was to multiply the neutrons coming from the Cf-252
source, which fissions spontaneously. The CFX was designed never to exceed a Keif of
0.99. The CFX assembly yielded sufficient neutron fluxes for applications such as
neutron activation analysis."
Last edited by andrew.roos; 05-14-2012 at 12:43 PM. Click to view previous post history.