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NUCLEAR PHYSICS

Zirconium isotope found to be a neutron poison

Zirconium alloys are widely used as cladding material in nuclear reactors due to their neutron transparency. Now, it is shown that 88Zr has a surprisingly high neutron capture cross-section exceeding that of other zirconium isotopes by six orders of magnitude.

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Fig. 1: Nuclear properties of zirconium isotopes.

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Correspondence to Stephan Heinitz or Ulli Köster.

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Heinitz, S., Köster, U. Zirconium isotope found to be a neutron poison. Nat. Phys. 15, 208–209 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41567-019-0452-5

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