Thursday, October 20, 2005

Making More Efficient Nukes

I swear I read this someplace else, but NEI Nuclear Notes is as good a place as any. Researchers at Purdue have developed a uranium-beryllium compound that works better than uranium oxide, mainly because the UBe compound has better thermal characteristics. Uranium oxide tends to crack, forcing new fuel to be substituted before the cracked fuel rods are finished "burning".