Oldbury Magnox reactor, 1968.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Model (scale 1:50). This reactor was built and became operational in 1968. Its fuel is natural uranium. The Magnox fuel cans fit into vertical channels in the graphite core of the reactor. The graphite slows down neutrons and makes them more effective at causing other uranium nuclei to split or fision. When uranium nuclei fision, energy is released and the core heats up. Carbon dioxide blows through the core to cool it and is then pased through pipes to a boiler where the heat boils water. Steam from here drives generators to produce electricity.