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USEC Inc. Message Board

  • rio109trio rio109trio Mar 3, 2013 11:34 AM Flag

    I need Uranium/Beryllium input

    A patented Uranium/Beryllium mix is being tested right now.This fuel mix runs cooler,longer and safer. It is supposed to prevent Chernobyl/Fukushima type incidents.To me this makes sense,but the stock IAALF is a total disaster.Except for the price action I can find no negatives. There must be something wrong. Perhaps the high price of the Beryllium ?

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    • Beryllium is the lightest of the metals. It also has a high thermal conductivity (ca. 200 Watts per meter per Kelvin) making it an ideal material for heat removal/cooling applications. The mixing has to be done very carefully, since a very serious lung disease (it is actually called beryllium disease) can arise via skin contact and dust inhalation with beryllium.

      Thank you for making this MB aware of this patented mix. I would need to read through the patent to confirm in my mind that the Chernobyl/Fukushima-type incidents can be mitigated, if not outright prevented by this technology.

      • 1 Reply to muffdad1
      • A small piece of beryllium which lived in a test tube fell in love with the Bunsen burner:
        "Oh Bunsen, my flame. I melt whenever I'm near you . . .", the beryllium pined.
        "It's just a phase you're going through", replied the Bunsen burner.


        Nuclear properties: Beryllium has a large scattering cross section for high-energy neutrons, about 6 barns for energies above ~0.01 MeV. Therefore, it works as a neutron reflector and neutron moderator, effectively slowing the neutrons to the thermal energy range of below 0.03 eV, where the total cross section is at least an order of magnitude lower – exact value strongly depends on the purity and size of the crystallites in the material.

        The single primordial beryllium isotope 9Be also undergoes a (n,2n) neutron reaction with neutron energies over about 1.9 MeV, to produce 8Be, which almost immediately breaks into two alpha particles. Thus, for high-energy neutrons beryllium is a neutron multiplier, releasing more neutrons than it absorbs.

        Beryllium also releases neutrons under bombardment by gamma rays. Thus, natural beryllium bombarded either by alphas or gammas from a suitable radioisotope is a key component of most radioisotope-powered nuclear reaction neutron sources for the laboratory production of free neutrons.

        As a metal, beryllium is transparent to most wavelengths of X-rays and gamma rays, making it useful for the output windows of X-ray tubes and other such apparatus.

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