Reactor design history over the first three post-war decades is fascinating, if only because so many designs were touted as possible, feasible, or competitive. I’ve found it hard to unwind each design’s history and realistic prospects, partly because of the jargon, partly because no one writing on the subject was ever disinterested. So it was interesting to discover in the archives a. . .
Here’s a simple (perhaps simplistic) point made by nuclear historian James Mahaffey (from his Atomic Awakening): K-25 enrichment plant at Oak Ridge At the end of World War II, the United States had the only uranium enrichment plant in the world, turning out U-235 in any desired concentration in quantities limited only by the amount of material loaded into the front-end. The availability of. . .