How do traveling wave nuclear reactors work?



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    Traveling wave reactors (TWRs) work by using depleted nuclear fuel, natural uranium (U-238) as opposed to enriched uranium, or other more benign fuels to create nuclear power.  They use a tiny amount of fissile fuel, such as enriched uranium, to begin the fission reaction, which then induces a reaction in the main (non-fissile) fuel.  Some of the neutrons released are absorbed in surrounding material, converting it to neptunium or plutonium, which is then reused by the reactor as fissile fuel. 

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