Boiling Water Reactor (BWR)

Last updated: June 2, 2019

What Does Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) Mean?

A boiling water reactor is a type of light water nuclear reactor that is utilized to produce electric power. It is one of the most typical nuclear reactors used to generate electricity.

In this type of reactor, a single water loop acts as the coolant, core coolant and the turbine steam source. This kind of reactor is preferred due to its many advantages in terms of operation and corrosion control.


Corrosionpedia Explains Boiling Water Reactor (BWR)

A boiling water reactor is different from a pressurized water reactor (PWR) in the sense that in a BWR the reactor core heats the water, which transforms into steam, driving the steam turbine. In a PWR, the reactor core warms the water to just below its boiling point. Then, the hot water is exchanged with heat within a water system under low pressure. It is then turned into steam that serves as the driving force for the turbine.

Boiling water reactors are preferred in the industries because this type of light water nuclear reactor does not utilize boric acid to regulate the burn up of fission, resulting in lowered possibility of corrosion in the piping and reactor vessel. In a PWR, corrosion is a major problem, so accurate and prompt monitoring of corrosion should be observed.

A BWR also presents less possibility of rupture and core damage since it has fewer welds as well as large-diameter pipes and tubes to generate steam. BWRs are also compact and known for their strong power, making them a favored tool for low-cost, simple and safety-focused electricity generation.


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