Nuclear graphite is any grade of graphite, usually synthetic graphite, specifically manufactured for use as a moderator or reflector within a nuclear reactor. Graphite is an important material for the construction of both historical and modern nuclear reactors, due to its extreme purity and its ability to withstand extremely high temperatures.
Several opportunities exist to improve graphite's utility as a moderator in modern nuclear reactors. One is increasing oxidation resistance by either diffusing interstitials throughout the graphite structure or treating the outside surface of each section of graphite in the moderator with oxidation-resistant coatings. Another is making the graphite sections more structurally resilient to halt dislocations caused by thermal stress and irradiation creep.
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