SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Nuclear fuel assembly at the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrate Works, Russia. This is the final check of the assembled fuel rods before they are delivered. The rods contain radioactive material designed to be used in a nuclear reactor. The use of rods allows moderator rods (often made of graphite) to be inserted to damp down the nuclear reaction. When these rods are removed, the nuclear reaction starts up again, producing energy that ultimately is converted into 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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