The smallest thermal nuclear reactor

Y. Ronen, E. Fridman, E. Shwageraus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


There is a growing need for very small nuclear reactors for space applications and as portable high-intensity neutron sources. This technical note investigates the question of what is the smallest possible thermal reactor. It was found that the smallest reactor is a spherically shaped solution of 242mAm(NO3)3 in water. The weight of such a reactor is 4.95 kg with 0.7 kg of 242mAm nuclear fuel. The radius of the reactor in this case is 9.6 cm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-92
Number of pages3
JournalNuclear Science and Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2006


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