Web edition: February 10, 2012
Print edition: February 25, 2012; Vol.181 #4 (p. 4)
BOILING REACTOR WILL MAKE SUPERHEATED STEAM — An Argonne National Laboratory experimental reactor achieved criticality for the first time Feb. 9 at the National Reactor Testing Station near Idaho Falls, Idaho. The plant, known as Borax 5, was built at a cost of nearly two million dollars. It will test the feasibility of making superheated steam by utilizing uranium fuel. The steam, in turn, would be used to drive a turbine to produce power. Borax 5 is designed to produce 20,000 kilowatts of thermal power at its maximum capacity. Nuclear superheated steam as used in the Borax 5 is expected to increase plant efficiency and eventually reduce the cost of nuclear fuel. The nuclear cores of the reactor are shown on the cover.