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Lithium in the nuclear industry

In the nuclear industry, lithium isotopes are used in power reactors:


Lithium-6 is used in the secondary production of so-called thermonuclear devices, used as fuels in nuclear fusion reactors.

Lithium-7 is a product used to cool the water in the primary circuit of PWR (Pressurized Water Reactor) nuclear power reactors to keep the pH constant. This is the case at the Angra I and Angra II plants which use the isotope, which is currently imported. As its use is also planned for the operation of the Angra III reactor in the future, it will play a strategic role in Brazil's self-sufficiency.


Fission  X   Fusion

Both fission and fusion are nuclear reactions that produce energy. In fission, energy is generated through the splitting (fission) of atoms of chemical elements, especially uranium. This reaction occurs in controlled environments such as nuclear power plants, releasing energy that generates electricity.  

In nuclear fusion, energy is generated from the fusion of atoms. Similar to what happens in stars, hydrogen atoms fuse into helium and release intense heat. 

In partnership with the Institute of Energy and Nuclear Research, a unit of the National Nuclear Energy Commission (IPEN/CNEN), we are investing in the project "Isotopic Separation of Lithium via Ion Exchange" . The purpose of this project is to develop the separation of the nuclear isotopes of lithium by purifying them to 99.99% purity. The aim of this partnership is to enable Brazil to not have to rely on imports of the isotope lithium-7, a material considered strategic for the nuclear industry.

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