google.com, pub-6663105814926378, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 WHAT COLOUR IS A FUEL ROD? 4289

WHAT COLOUR IS A FUEL ROD?

Pure uranium is a radioactive heavy metal with a silverywhite sheen. During the process of fission, uranium produces plutonium. But plutonium has to undergo further processing before it can be used as fuel in a nuclear power plant. The process of radioactive decay causes the plutonium-dioxide pellets in the fuel rods to glow reddish-orange. Even the coolant changes colour. It takes on an eerie blue tint because of a physical phenomenon called Cherenkov radiation. The neutrons exiting the reactor move through the coolant more quickly than the speed of light, causing what is essentially a sonic boom made of light instead of sound.

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