Nuclear fuel assembly, Russia

Nuclear fuel assembly, Russia

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Caption: Nuclear fuel assembly at the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrate Works, Russia. This is the assembly stage where the fuel rods, loaded with their uranium fuel, are placed together in a bundle. Care must be taken to not allow the fuel rods to come too close together without any moderating material in between, otherwise a nuclear chain reaction may begin. In a nuclear reactor, the rods are used to create a controlled nuclear reaction to generate electricity. Nuclear fuels use radioactive isotopes of uranium and/or plutonium. Novosibirsk is in southern Siberia, near Russia's border with Central Asia. Photographed on 18 August 2006.

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