PATRICK LANDMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PATRICK LANDMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Nuclear fuel assembly. Fuel pin bundles in storage after production at a nuclear fuel assembly factory. The automated machinery is used to minimise the exposure of the workers to the radioactive materials. Each bundle contains 289 (17x17) fuel pins that are 3 metres long. The fuel pins are hollow metal tubes filled with small pellets of nuclear fuel. In this case the fuel is mixed oxide (MOX) fuel, which is a mixture of plutonium and uranium. Several hundred of these fuel pin bundles will be loaded into a nuclear reactor to initiate a controlled nuclear fission reaction. This is the Melox factory in Marcoule, France. Photographed in 2004.
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