HC Deb 04 July 1986 vol 100 cc658-9W
Mr. Home Robertson

asked the Prime Minister, pursuant to her reply to the hon. Member for East Lothian on Monday 30 June, if she will specify the fundamental differences between the nuclear steam supply system in the reactor at Chernobyl and those reactors operating in the United Kingdom.

The Prime Minister

The Chernobyl design involves cooling the nuclear fuel by boiling water. The water and fuel are contained in pressure tubes running through the reactor core. The steam from the boiling water goes directly to the turbine generators in a direct cycle system.

BNFL's and generating boards power reactors operate at much lower pressures and moderator temperatures and are cooled by carbon dioxide gas. This gas heats separate boilers to produce the steam, and this steam, which is never in contact with the nuclear fuel, drives the turbine generators.

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