One of you – my loyal and fascinating readers – sent in the following question – So what is the burnup limit, and do operators currently burn fuel all the way to the limit?
The question follows along with the previous post about the quantity of waste produced by pebble bed reactors and the subsequent comment thread on the issue. Rather than sending back a detailed personal email, I obtained the reader’s permission to post both his well worded question and my response.
Please check it out at Ask Atomic: What limits reactor fuel burnup?
I have been meaning to get around to reviving the Ask Atomic section of the Atomic Insights web site. I have received some interesting questions over the years, and often put quite a bit of effort into researching and answering the question in an understandable manner. This effort is usually worth my time because it helps me to learn more and to be more attuned to the kinds of questions that I and my team at Adams Engines will have to be able to answer as we seek permission to build and operate our little atomic engines.
As you can see if you visit the page, it is kind of sparse right now, but check back over the next week or two to see some significant improvements. Feel free to drop me a line if you have a question where you think that an answer might benefit others. (Keep it limited to atomic issues, however. I am certainly no oracle on other topics and I am only competent on some atomic topics because I have a pretty decent library.)