Pressurised heavy water reactor (PHWR) concepts have been developed in a number of countries, including Canada, Japan, France, UK and others. Interest in heavy water as a moderator arose because it overcame the problem in LWRs of relatively high absorption of neutrons, enabling the reactor to operate at lower enrichment, or even with natural uranium.

However in the UK, the steam generating heavy water concept was not taken forward to commercial operation because the economies of scale were not favourable in comparison with alternatives.

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