toxic substance

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toxic substance

in nuclear physics, any material that can easily capture neutrons without subsequently undergoing nuclear fission. Examples of poisons are the naturally occurring elements boron and cadmium and the fission products xenon-135 and samarium-149. In nuclear reactors, poisons act as parasitic neutron absorbers and lower the rate of fission.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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