Mixed oxide fuel, commonly referred to as MOX fuel, is nuclear fuel that contains more than one oxide of fissile material, usually consisting of plutonium blended with natural uranium, reprocessed uranium, or depleted uranium. MOX fuel is an alternative to the low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel used in the light water reactors that predominate nuclear power generation. For example, a mixture of 7% plutonium and 93% natural uranium reacts similarly, although not identically, to LEU fuel. MOX usually consists of two phases, UO2 and PuO2, and/or a single phase solid solution (U,Pu)O2. The content of PuO2 may vary from 1.5 wt.% to 25-30 wt.% depending on the type of nuclear reactor. Although MOX fuel can be used in thermal reactors to provide energy, efficient burning of plutonium in MOX can only be achieved in fast reactors.
One attraction of MOX fuel is that it is a way of utilizing surplus weapons-grade plutonium, an alternative to storage of surplus plutonium, which would need to be secured against the risk of theft for use in nuclear weapons. On the other hand, some studies warned that normalising the global commercial use of MOX fuel and the associated expansion of nuclear reprocessing will increase, rather than reduce, the risk of nuclear proliferation, by encouraging increased separation of plutonium from spent fuel in the civil nuclear fuel cycle.
Other articles related to "fuel, mox fuel, fuels":
... Spent nuclear fuel from normal light water reactors contains plutonium, but it is a mixture of plutonium-242, 240, 239 and 238 ... enriched for efficient nuclear weapons, but can be used once as MOX fuel ... The desire to consume this plutonium and other transuranic fuels and reduce the radiotoxicity of the waste is the usual reason nuclear engineers give to ...
... See also Thorium fuel cycle MOX fuel containing thorium and plutonium oxides has also been studied ... void reactivity of the thorium-plutonium fuel is negative for plutonium contents up to 21%, whereas the transition lies at 16% for MOX fuel." The authors concluded, "Thorium-plutonium fuel seems to offer some ...
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