The study of radiation and radioactive materials and it's creation, safety, and applications.

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Can a nuclear reactor meltdown be contained with molten lead?

If lead can absorb or block radiation, would it be possible to pump molten lead into a reactor core which is melting, so that it would eventually cool and contain the radiation? Is there something ...
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1answer
122 views

Why nuclear tests move under ground since 1964?

According to this database: http://www.ga.gov.au/oracle/nuclear-explosion.jsp Since 1962, 99% of USA Nuclear tests was underground. Since 1964, 99% of Soviet Nuclear tests was underground. Is it ...
4
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1answer
175 views

Gaseous fission: Has it even been demonstrated experimentally?

I've been reading quite a bit about gas-core reactors, a theoretical reactor design where the fissioning of Uranium(along with Plutonium & possibly Thorium)occurs in gas phase. The result is that ...
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0answers
125 views

Intensive radiative heat transfer in very hot gas ( >5000K, gas core nuclear reactor related )

The question: At temperatures above ~5000K are not stable any solid or liquid materials or even more complex molecules (such as fullerenes and Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) which emit/absorb ...
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1answer
105 views

What is the minimum density required for nuclear fission?

This is a followup to a prior question I asked about gaseous nuclear fission. What is the lowest nuclear fuel density required to initiate fission? This is critical for a gas core reactor with a ...
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1answer
96 views

Could one “build” elements?

I was wondering this: would it be possible to "construct" elements by arranging their constituent particles in high-energy environments? So apart from just fusion, could you sub-atomically manufacture ...
1
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1answer
217 views

What would a sufficiently dense sphere of uranium do first: blow up, or form a black hole?

I think it is safe to assume that humans are a long way off from having either the technology to compress a normal-sized sphere of uranium below its Schwarzschild radius, or the technology to create a ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Do brick walls effectively protect against ionizing radiation from a nuclear explosion?

Of course it depends on the distance and the amount of radiation, so let's say its about 10,000 Rad. Now, can wall made of brick protect someone behind it from such radiation ?
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0answers
161 views

Saturn V F-1 engines and beyond

I read that the F-1 engine from the 1st stage of the Saturn V rocket is the most powerful engine ever created by mankind, delivering ~200 gigawatts of power. Thus, I have got two questions: Will ...
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1answer
463 views

Why does it take so long to make a nuclear bomb?

So as I know nuclear bombs are derived from fission reactions: By providing the nucleus with enough power to trigger a chain reaction. If uranium was present why does it take so much to make a nuclear ...
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2answers
126 views

Theoretic Mass Energy Conversion?

say you had a large quantity of a heavy element such as uranium... AND you put a massive amount of energy into it, so that it began to undergo nuclear fission and transformed to a significantly ...
2
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2answers
227 views

Why increase pressure to go from liquid to steam?

Assume the following phase diagram $T-H$ of water At a nuclear engineering course, I was told that in order to increase the performance of a pressurized water reactor, one has to increase the ...
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0answers
226 views

Constant Pressure lines in evaporation diagram

Assume that there is the following $T-H$ phase diagram with the constant pressure lines. Which is greater preasure? The preasure drops as we move to lower temperatures (i.e. from top to bottom)? ...
2
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1answer
111 views

neutron transport approximations for nuclear rocket modelling

I'm pretty ignorant regarding neutron and nuclear transport modelling, but i'm interested in trying to pursue it for a particular pet project. It regards modelling of nuclear reactions like those ...
3
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1answer
124 views

Containement system of a nuclear reactor: role of the water moderator

In a modern nuclear reactor for example a PWR there are multiple containment systems which prevent the release of radioactive material into the environment and shield the environment from the ...
12
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2answers
4k views

How would a black hole power plant work?

A black hole power plant (BHPP) is something I'll define here as a machine that uses a black hole to convert mass into energy for useful work. As such, it constitutes the 3rd kind of matter-energy ...
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1answer
694 views

Speed of neutrons in a nuclear reactor

How fast (in $\frac{\mathrm{m}}{\mathrm{s}}$) are typical neutrons before and after slowing down in a nuclear reactor (with U-235 and $H_2O$ as moderator)? Do you have any reference for the values?
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2answers
106 views

Why not assimilate nuclear waste into “igneous” rock?

I was reading a question about why not to drop nuclear waste into volcanoes; the short answer is it would come back out and not be rendered safe. Ignoring the cost and energy requirements, why can't ...
5
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1answer
242 views

How is it possible to calculate the energy liberated by a given fission process?

How is it possible to calculate the energy liberated by a given fission process? For example, in the fission of a $^{235}$U induced by capturing a neutron?
3
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1answer
352 views

Why is the total interaction cross section larger for incident particles with lower energy?

The cross section of a nuclear interaction is a measurement of the probability of that interaction occuring. These probabilities are typically presented in terms of barns ($10^{-28}$ m$^2$) as a ...
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2answers
91 views

Nuclear based wireless power?

I would like to ask if there is any Nuclear process which can be used to produce a wireless power ? Is there any nuclear process can be radiate to the environment with no harm to human beings? ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Military-grade U-235 uses

In the news it is often mentioned that some countries are going to enrich uranium to "military grade" (i.e. 80%+) and that it is possible to use it for a nuclear bomb. 1) Is that correct that there ...
2
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1answer
582 views

Why did the Hydrogen in Fukushima explode *outside* the reactor vessel?

As pointed out before, it orginated inside the reactor vessel but exploded outside: how did it get there? Did it pass the shell by diffusion or was it released by the engineers?
2
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2answers
355 views

Water-cooled fast neutron reactors

Can anyone explain why fast neutron reactor designs use sodium/lead/salt cooling, instead of water (heavy/light)? Is that because neutron absorption by water would not allow to break even in fuel ...
3
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1answer
353 views

Nuclear Salt Water Rockets: viability and follow-up

This is the original paper by R. Zubrin proposing the Nuclear Salt Water Rocket design. Basically the design is that a capillar set of pipes store a uranium salt-water solution, inside a cadmium ...
5
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1answer
289 views

What causes the structure visible in first few milliseconds of a nuclear explosion?

Following on from this question, here is a high-speed photograph of a nuclear explosion, taken about 1 ms after detonation: (source) As anna v pointed out, several similar images can be seen in a ...
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5answers
464 views

Thorium radioactivty vs Uranium radioactivty nuclear power

May i please open this question by asking that if you intended to answer this please could you provide links based on your answer. I have read ( and posted one ) on thorium and a lot of the answers ...
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8answers
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What practical issues remain for the adoption of Thorium reactors?

From what I've read on thorium reactors, there's enormous benefit to them. Their fuel is abundant enough to power human civilization for centuries, their fission products are relatively short-lived, ...
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4answers
2k views

Why can't there be a trap door under nuclear reactors in case of meltdown?

This may be a naive question, but after the Fukushima Daiichi partial meltdown and studying the aftermath of Chernobyl it seems they could be helped by this idea. In Chernobyl, the liquidators that ...
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0answers
77 views

Properties of spilled spent nuclear fuel pellets

Can someone please explain to me the physics of a pile of spilled nuclear fuel pellets on the floor of a spent fuel pool? Specifically, what can we expect in terms of heat and radioactivity releases, ...
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1answer
250 views

Direct nuclear reaction in nuclear physics

Time taken to occur a direct nuclear reaction is very low $10^{-22}$sec . I want to know the Importance of direct nuclear reactions.
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1answer
1k views

Why are we not using thorium for energy? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What practical issues remain for the adoption of Thorium reactors? I have been reading and watching a bit on thorium TH 90 and cannot understand why this is not being ...
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2answers
311 views

How to detect radiation on the metal (coin)?

I've got metal coin : http://www.worldpeacecoin.org/ Ruble/dollar, a coin of disarmament with certificate. But, I am very spleeny person, I fear of it's radiance level and I don't know if I can trust ...
3
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1answer
66 views

The synthesis of $^{254}\text{No}$

How is $^{254}\text{No}$ synthesised? Could you explain the reaction where it is preceded by $^{208}\text{Pb}(^{48}\text{Ca}, 2\text{n})$? References to articles are well enough—I was somehow unable ...
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1answer
171 views

Is there a good summary of all nuclear fusion approaches?

I am pretty sure, that during last 60 years of well-funded research a lot of ideas on nuclear fusion were already tried and ruled out. Is there some summary describing all of them and why they ...
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3answers
446 views

Nuclear physics problem, Why do we use high weight atomic elements?

So as far as I know, nuclear fission uses high weight atomic elements to manufacture power. If the risk of runaway reactions are a major reason for not expanding this technology, why don't we use ...
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2answers
95 views

Statistical Weighting Factor on thermal neutron importance

The problem is concerning the use of a thermal fluxed squared weighting factor in a thermal reactor. I have seen in sources the thermal flux in a reactor is squared as a statistical weighting factor, ...
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1answer
162 views

How does the curiosity rover get it's power? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Mars Curiosity Power System I found a web page that said it uses Plutonium. I am sure it's not based on fusion or fission. What is the basic idea on which the power ...
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0answers
88 views

scaling laws for density and temperature of high-energy explosions

I'm wondering if there are heuristic ways to derive how the peak density and temperature of nuclear explosions scale with the amount of fissile/fusible material. Does it matter what the explosion ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Nuclear fuel pellets - when does the chain reaction start?

Questions about nuclear fuel: Does nuclear chain reaction start in fuel pellets even before they being installed in reactor? If not, why not? My understanding is that since the fuel pellets are ...
2
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2answers
91 views

critical density to create macroscopic nuggets of nuclear matter

Is there a critical size that an hydrogen bomb detonation needs to have in order to produce neutron-degenerated matter? Does anyone knows if matter in this state would be stable at ambient ...
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2answers
898 views

Nuclear reactor control rods

What is the relation between control rods surface exposed into a nuclear reactor and neutron energy? Is it linear? I mean, how do neutron absorbing rate change with the progressive immersion of ...
2
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1answer
78 views

Boiling water reactor

What are the typical power densities in conventional boiling water nuclear reactor per cubic centimeter of fission material?
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2answers
513 views

Russian Doll Teller Ulam?

Can you trigger a thermonuclear explosion from a smaller thermonuclear explosion in a scaling way, so that starting from a small laser ignited fusion within a small fissile container, using the X-rays ...
2
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4answers
356 views

Why was PACER abandoned?

The PACER project is described in this question: How much of the energy from 1 megaton H Bomb explosion could we capture to do useful work? Why was it abandoned? It seems that it is the only readily ...
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2answers
247 views

Is it viable to convert nuclear waste into safe isotopes?

I read that powerful pulsed lasers can change isotopes: J. Magill, et. al.: "Laser transmutation of iodine-129". Did anyone estimate what would be the energy costs to transmutate 1 kg of fission ...
2
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0answers
243 views

How viable is reuse of nuclear waste at this point, and what are future prospects? [closed]

I keep seeing documentaries describing the pile-up of nuclear waste from nuclear power stations in the US and in other countries. Countries such as Finland are working to deposit waste in old mines in ...
3
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2answers
404 views

How much radiation exposure in the US was caused by the 105 nuke tests in the Pacific?

Between 1947 and 1962 the US conducted 105 tests of nuclear weapons in the "Pacific Proving Grounds". I'm wondering how much radiation exposure resulted on the west coast of the US. These were part of ...
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3answers
3k views

Why didn't the control rods in Fukushima shut down the reactor?

With all the hubbub over the reactors in Japan and nuclear safety, I was wondering why the insertion of the control rods in Fukushima did not shut down the reactor? Shouldn't they slow the fission ...
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0answers
231 views

How big is a nuclear reactor pressure vessel? [closed]

With all the sudden discussion related to Nuclear power, safety, fuel, waste, etc, there's one question whose answer has so far eluded me. How big (height and diameter) is the actual pressure vessel ...