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

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2
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0answers
246 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 ...
5
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6answers
927 views

Is there any inherent danger in operating a Thermonuclear Reactor?

Nuclear fusion research appears to promise sustainable, practically unlimited energy, and according to ITER it will be a perfectly safe, non-polluting source of energy. My question is if there are ...
3
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4answers
8k views

Why build nuclear reactors on shorelines?

While not directly a physics question, I can't think of forum better capable of answering my question. In discussions over Japan's nuclear reactor situation the observation was made that reactors ...
10
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7answers
3k views

Why does nuclear fuel not form a critical mass in the course of a meltdown?

A BWR reactor core may contain up to 146 tons of uranium. Why does it not form a critical mass when molten? Are there any estimates of the critical mass of the resulting zirconium alloy, steel, ...
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1answer
1k views

Conceptual problems in nuclear physics for students?

Is there any good reference for conceptual problems for students which learn nuclear physics first time? I am not searching problems that involve difficult calculations. Quite the converse, they ...
3
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3answers
613 views

If there is a meltdown at the Fukushima reactors, would the control rods melt also?

According to the reports, the shutdown procedures at all the Fukushima reactors were successful, and all the control rods were fully inserted. So - if there was a meltdown, would the control rods ...
2
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1answer
599 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?
3
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2answers
413 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 ...
4
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3answers
723 views

What is generating the hydrogen that has exploded in the Fukushima reactor?

The explosions at the Fukushima nuclear reactors were caused by a build of hydrogen. I was wondering where this hydrogen came from. This question Fukushima - Isn't the hydrogen presence a proof ...
2
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1answer
310 views

Fukushima - Isn't the hydrogen presence a proof of meltdown?

As I understand, the hydrogen is produced by water thermolysis, which need quite high temperature. This temperature is close to previously observed corium temperatures. So: Is the eutectic ...
3
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10answers
2k views

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 ...
11
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3answers
4k 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 ...
5
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1answer
265 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?