Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
The Collaborative International Dictionary
nuclear reactor \nuclear reactor\ n. (phys.) Any of several devices that maintain and control a sustained nuclear fission chain reaction, for the production of energy, heat, or artificial elements, or for research purposes. The main fuel sustaining the reaction and consumed by the process is typically uranium or plutonium.
Syn: reactor, atomic pile, fission reactor, nuclear pile
n. (context physics English) Any device in which a controlled chain reaction is maintained for the purpose of creating heat (for power generation) or for creating neutrons and other fission products for experimental, medical or other purposes.
n. (physics) any of several kinds of apparatus that maintain and control a nuclear reaction for the production of energy or artificial elements [syn: reactor]
CROCUS, a small nuclear reactor used for research at the EPFL in Switzerland
A nuclear reactor, formerly known as an atomic pile, is a device used to initiate and control a sustained nuclear chain reaction. Nuclear reactors are used at nuclear power plants for electricity generation and in propulsion of ships. Heat from nuclear fission is passed to a working fluid (water or gas), which runs through steam turbines. These either drive a ship's propellers or turn electrical generators. Nuclear generated steam in principle can be used for industrial process heat or for district heating. Some reactors are used to produce isotopes for medical and industrial use, or for production of weapons-grade plutonium. Some are run only for research. Today there are about 450 nuclear power reactors that are used to generate electricity in about 30 countries around the world.
Usage examples of "nuclear reactor".
I mean, to break apart hydrazoic acid and water, and recombine them into air, and use the extra for a nuclear reactor to power the whole thing?
This is the same bunch that built the Kirov class with a nuclear reactor and an oil-fired steam plant.
The interior of her double hull was crammed with missiles, torpedoes, a nuclear reactor and its support equipment, a huge backup diesel power plant, and bank of nickle-cadmium batteries outside the pressure hull, which was ten times the size of its American counterparts.
That requires a nuclear reactor plant of a specific type, or the new centrifuge technology.
To defeat the safety system of a nuclear reactor, however, is no simple matter.
So big had the hull to be to accommodate the huge nuclear reactor that it had internal accommodation equivalent to that of a 3,000-ton surface ship, with three decks instead of the usual one and lower hold found in the conventional submarine.
Of particular relevance, Israel justified its strike against Iraq's Osiraq nuclear reactor in June 1981 as anticipatory self-defense.
Which was useful when, for example, a section of hull abutting a nuclear reactor had to be cut away.
Yahia El Meshad, the Egyptian nuclear physicist who worked on the first Iraqi nuclear reactor and was assassinated in his room at the Meridien Hotel in Paris on June 13, 1980, the procedure was observed.
Tariq Aziz later said that from this point on, Iraq's leaders became terrified of a repeat of Israel's 1981 air strike against the Osiraq nuclear reactor--Baghdad's first bid at a nuclear weapon.
In his home PC he had all sorts of files on North Korea and suspicions that they were attempting to manufacture weapons-grade plutonium in a nuclear reactor.