These are the second generation of British gas-cooled reactors, using graphite moderator and carbon dioxide as primary coolant. The fuel is uranium oxide pellets, enriched to 2.5-3.5%, in stainless steel tubes. The carbon dioxide circulates through the core, reaching 650°C and then past steam generator tubes outside it, but still inside the concrete and steel pressure vessel (hence ‘integral’ design). Control rods penetrate the moderator and a secondary shutdown system involves injecting nitrogen to the coolant
The AGR was developed from the Magnox reactor. Magnox reactors were also graphite moderated and CO2 cooled, used natural uranium fuel in metal form, and water as secondary coolant. The UK’s last Magnox reactor closed at the end of 2015.