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chain-react to be part of or involved in a chain reaction.
control rod a rod or bar in a nuclear reactor that contains a neutron-absorbing material, and that is lowered into or raised from the core to control the fission chain reaction.
critical mass the minimum mass of fissionable material necessary to sustain a nuclear chain reaction. [1/2 definitions]
nuclear reactor any of several devices that initiate and control a nuclear fission chain reaction to produce energy and material used for experimental and medical purposes.
plutonium a radioactive chemical element of the actinide series that has ninety-four protons in each nucleus and that is capable of explosive nuclear fission in a chain reaction, used as fuel in some types of nuclear reactors. (symbol: Pu)
reactor in physics, an apparatus for starting and controlling a nuclear chain reaction; nuclear reactor. [1/2 definitions]
subcritical of a nuclear reactor or device, unable to sustain a fission chain reaction. [1/2 definitions]