Reactor Handbook: New York, $12.00.
pp. 804, illustrated.
IT is impossibIe in a brief review to do justice to this remarkable collection of data, which occupies eight hundred pages and ranges over the whole field of reactor physics. It is divided into two parts. The first, occupying about three-quarters of the book, is concerned with nuclear and reactor physics. The opening chapter is a sixty-page description of the experimental techniques of nuclear physics, with a strong bias towards those that are particularly useful in the field of reactor physics; the treatment is somewhat elementary. Next comes a short summary of the systematics of nuclear cross-sections, followed by nearly three hundred pages of tabulated nuclear data. The kinetic theory of neutrons is dealt with in a concise and much-needed summary, which covers most of the mathematical methods; sufficient details are given for the methods to be comprehensible to the average experimentalist, and a large number of analytical solutions are listed. The three sections on theoretical and experimental reactor statics and reactor dynamics are perhaps the most valuable; they cover an extremely wide field, and the mathematical treatment, though fairly rigorous, is strongly biased towards showing how practical design problems, such as reactor stability, can be handled. The second part of the book, on shielding, covers ground that is probably more familiar to most readers. It includes some previously unpublished data on fast-neutron removal cross-sections, and a very complete compilation of the properties of shield materials. The great strength of the book lies in the numerous and detailed tabulations, and the many excellently produced diagrams. If it has a weakness, it is the very minor one that one or two of the contributions have obviously been prepared in some haste; but the book is a compilation for the professional rather than a textbook for the student, and style is less important than adequate detail and speed in production. In these respects no one reading the book can fail to be impressed.
B. T. P.
Catalogue of Nuclear Reactors.
Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., Chalk River Project.
gives a r&urn& of the principal physical and constructional features of each of the nuclear reactors, forty-five in number, which were in operation prior to July 1955. It is based upon unclassified literature, including papers published at the International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, Geneva 1955. The information presented includes the following items where available:-Dimensions and composition of the core (including fuel elements, canning, coolant, and moderator), of the reflector and the shielding; heat output; maximum temperatures and neutron flux intensity; control system; experimental facilities; purpose of the reactor; and estimated cost. Additional points of interest concerning individual reactors are also given. The compilers have performed a useful task in preparing this catalogue, which can be recommended as a work of reference to all concerned with the development of atomic energy. J. c. 14 February 1956.