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Boiling water reactor

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Boiling Water Reactor[edit]

A boiling water reactor (BWR) is a type of nuclear energy reactor. The central part of the plant is the reactor "core" in which the uranium fuel is assembled for the generation of steam for the turbine generator. In a typical BWR, there are about 35,000 fuel rods containing about 120 tons of uranium fuel.


The water that surrounds the fuel rods in the reactor serve two purposes.

  1. To carry away the heat energy produced in the fission process.
  2. To moderate (slow down) the neutrons produced in the fission reaction.


A moderator is a substance used in nuclear reactors to slow down neutrons so they can be more readily captured by 235U and produce fission, usually water.

Types of Light Water Reactors[edit]

  1. Boiling Water Reactors (BWR)
  2. Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR)

99% of commercial nuclear power in the U.S. and 80% of that in the world is produced by these two types of reactors.