Isotope Separation Methods for Nuclear Fuel
Nuclei of a chemical element which have the same number of protons but different number of neutrons. Some isotopes are stable; some are radioactive.
- Mean free path
An average distance of a moving gas molecule between its collisions.
- Molecular flow
Low-pressure phenomenon when the mean free path of a gas molecule is about the same as the channel diameter; then a molecule migrates along the channel without interference from other molecules present.
- Separation capability
A measure of separative work by a cascade per unit time.
- Separation factor
A ratio of a mole fraction of an isotope of interest to that of non-interest in an enriched flow divided by that in a depleted flow from a separation unit. The factor should be larger than unity for the unit to result in isotopic enrichment.
Definition of the Subject
Isotope separation, in general, means enrichment of a chemical element to one of its isotopes (e.g., 10B in B; 6Li in Li, 157Gd, etc). In the case of uranium, isotope...
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