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What is Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor?

What is Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR)?

  • A pressurized heavy-water reactor is a nuclear reactor, commonly using unenriched natural uranium as its fuel that uses heavy water (deuterium oxide D2O) as its coolant and neutron moderator.
  • The heavy water coolant is kept under pressure, allowing it to be heated to higher temperatures without boiling, much as in a pressurized water reactor.
  • While heavy water is significantly more expensive than ordinary light water, it creates greatly enhanced neutron economy, allowing the reactor to operate without fuel-enrichment facilities (offsetting the additional expense of the heavy water) and enhancing the ability of the reactor to make use of alternate fuel cycles.
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