Fertile material

A material, which is not itself fissile (fissionable by thermal neutrons), that can be converted into a fissile material by irradiation in a reactor. There are two basic fertile materials: uranium-238 and thorium-232. When these fertile materials capture neutrons, they are converted into fissile plutonium-239 and uranium-233, respectively.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, August 25, 2020