Some Characteristics of Different Nuclear Reactor Designs
|Fuel loading||1,000s of kg||10s to 100s of kg||10s of kg|
|Fuel enrichment||Natural uranium to 8%||30 to >90%||20 to >90%|
|Power production||A few 100 to >1,000 MW||10s to a few 100 MW||<1 to 100 MW|
|Reactor coolant||Water, pressurized or boiling; liquid metal; gas; liquid salt||Water, pressurized||Water, unpressurized|
Source: Management of Persons Contaminated with Radionuclides: Scientific and Technical Bases (NCRP Report No. 161, Volume II, Table 17.2, page 402), Bethesda, MD, 2010; Reprinted with permission of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, (http://NCRPpublications.org)
Types of reactors (NRC)
- The NRC regulates commercial nuclear power plants that generate electricity.
- There are several types of nuclear power reactors.
- Of these, only the Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs) and Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) are in commercial operation in the United States.
- See list below to view a description and diagram of each.