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  1. Jun 2019
    1. Heavy water was first produced in 1932, a few months after the discovery of deuterium.[6] With the discovery of nuclear fission in late 1938, and the need for a neutron moderator that captured few neutrons, heavy water became a component of early nuclear energy research. Since then, heavy water has been an essential component in some types of reactors, both those that generate power and those designed to produce isotopes for nuclear weapons. These heavy water reactors have the advantage of being able to run on natural uranium without using graphite moderators that pose radiological[7] and dust explosion[8] hazards in the decommissioning phase. Most modern reactors use enriched uranium with ordinary water as the moderator.