Mini nuclear reactor prototype is designed in Mexico

By Valeria Bigurra Peñavera

The prototype of a nuclear mini reactor is currently under design at the Academic Unit of Nuclear Studies at the Autonomous University of Zacatecas (UAZ), and aims to serve as an instrument of research and teaching.

Ever since 1968, the university has had the model of a nuclear reactor in its grounds. Today, a team of experts in the field, made up of: Dr. Héctor René Vega Carrillo, Dr. Consuelo Letechipía de León, Professor Miguel Angel Salas Luevano, MSc Victor Martin Hernandez Davila and interns whose expertise is in nuclear science Claudia Rafela Escobedo Galván and Isvi Rubén Esparza Garcia, seeks to replicate the project specifications.

The project began in 2014 and has slowly been proving its viability, since it must meet certain parameters that are a fundamental part of its realization.

A nuclear reactor is a system that divides the nucleus of a heavy atom in smaller particles called subatomic occurs, and through this reaction a controlled amount of energy is generated.

Nuclear

The mini reactor (that has been used at the UAZ for almost half a century) is intended to serve as a teaching and experimentation tool, and also serves for the disposal of nuclear waste.

The first step was to calculate that the values ​​in size and content correspond to the scale design. The second stage will consist on the physical construction of the mini reactor.

Rafaela Escobedo said through the press release of Mexico’s Council for Science, Technology and Innovation, one of the long-term plans is to create four to six mini reactors, in order to personalize learning.

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