Nuclear Energy pp 137-147 | Cite as

Isotope Separation Methods for Nuclear Fuel

  • Shuichi Hasegawa
Reference work entry
Part of the Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology Series book series (ESSTS)



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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Systems Innovation, School of EngineeringThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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