|1.||a person who breeds plants or animals|
|2.||something that reproduces, esp to excess: rabbits are persistent breeders|
|3.||an animal kept for breeding purposes|
|4.||a source or cause: a breeder of discontent|
|5.||short for breeder reactor|
|breeder reactor (brē'dər) Pronunciation Key
A nuclear reactor that is used to create fissionable material (such as plutonium-239) by exposing nonfissionable material (such as uranium-238) to radiation. The source of the radiation is usually some other fissionable material. Breeder reactors produce more fissionable material than they use up.
Note: Breeder reactors are designed to produce more fuel than they consume.
Note: The development of the breeder reactor has been stopped in the United States, but continues to be pursued in Europe and Japan.
nuclear reactor that produces more fissionable material than it consumes to generate energy. This special type of reactor is designed to extend the nuclear fuel supply for electric power generation. Whereas a conventional nuclear reactor (q.v.) can use only the readily fissionable but scarce isotope uranium-235 for fuel, a breeder reactor employs either uranium-238 or thorium, of which sizable quantities are available. Uranium-238, for example, accounts for more than 99 percent of all naturally occurring uranium. In breeders, approximately 70 percent of this isotope can be utilized for power production. Conventional reactors, in contrast, can extract less than one percent of its energy.
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