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

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2answers
99 views

Can Deuterium undergo a nuclear fusion without the presence of Tritium?

I've been reading about fusion fuels for a while now, and I understand that in Lithium-Deuterium fuel, the neutrons from the fission reaction bombard the Lithium to produce Tritium and the D-T ...
-2
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1answer
76 views

How many gas centrifuges are needed to build two small nuke within a year? [closed]

imagine this is 1960-70.....a country has nuclear plants already (for peaceful purposes) now if they get the technology of gas centrifuges what things they are going to need for building two small ...
1
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1answer
35 views

What decides fission products?

I am learning about nuclear fissions and learned about the fission fragment distribution. It was interesting to see that the fission fragments have unequal masses. I was wondering as to what governs ...
4
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1answer
107 views

scrap iron for stopping a meltdown

Would it be possible in a Fukushima-style meltdown to halt the process (edit: I mean halting the meltdown process, not the actual nuclear processes) by dumping large amounts of iron into the vessel? ...
0
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1answer
35 views

Algorithm for distribution of radiation

Unstable atomic nuclei will spontaneously decompose to form nuclei with a higher stability. What is the algorithm for deciding what sort of it is? (alpha, beta, gamma, etc. Also, given that alpha and ...
16
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2answers
476 views

Is there a sound theoretical argument against inner-shell induced nuclear chain reactions?

There is a claim often made about cold fusion, that it is excluded theoretically. The main theoretical argument is that electronic energies are too low to overcome the Coulomb barrier, since d-d ...
0
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0answers
38 views

Use of fission products for electricity generation

Why can't we use fissions products for electricity production ? As far has I know fissions products from current nuclear power plants create enough 'waste' heat to boil water; and temperature ...
5
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0answers
88 views

What is the most stable nuclide of an isobar?

From the semi-empirical mass formula, the mass of an atomic nucleus is $$M\left(A,Z\right)=Zm_p+(A-Z)m_n-\frac{E_b(A,Z)}{c^2}$$ I've been told (at first) that for a given mass number $A$, the most ...
7
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3answers
138 views

Neutrons reflective materials in nuclear reactors

Nuclear reactors are driven away from criticality with the use of control rods which absorb neutrons. In case of overheating and melting of the core, the control rods may not be inserted any more ...
0
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1answer
30 views

What is the theoretical wattage output of a Tokamak fusion reactor?

By that I mean the complete radiative wattage of any type of energetic radioactivity or electromagnetic wave or even particle if that's what they output. My purpose is to compare this to the suns ...
2
votes
2answers
94 views

Would sea water moderate a nuclear submarine meltdown?

My son asked me: If nuclear submarines get sunk or blown up, what is to stop them going into nuclear meltdown? I thought about it and came to the conclusion that because they're in the sea the ...
8
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3answers
2k views

why aren't there nuclear powered aircraft?

I know this might sound like more of an engineering question that about physics, and it probably is, but bear with me: i'm still not sure if the answer to my question lies in the physics or in the ...
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3answers
554 views

Can antimatter be used as fuel for nuclear reactors?

I completely understand the difficulties of making and storing antimatter, so I am not talking about the mechanism or the way of doing it here, I am just talking about the concept. As far as I know, ...
1
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1answer
124 views

How to solve the Fukushima incident?

I am trying to find out if it is somehow possible to take all this nuclear material, put it in some type of gamma chamber or blast it with neutrons to change the uranium isotopes into something ...
0
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2answers
101 views

Can a glass window protect from heat radiation?

I have been reading in this and found a statement saying : " Glass will not transmit heat radiation.". So now I am confused. If glass won't transmit heat radiation, then why do we feel hot when we sit ...
6
votes
2answers
478 views

Why aren't betavoltaics and alphavoltaics batteries widely used?

Betavoltaic batteries are devices which creates electricity from beta radiation of a radioactive material. Alphavoltaics operate similarly, using alpha radiation. The concept was invented roughly 50 ...
3
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4answers
335 views

Is a Rubbia thorium reactor safer than other modern reactor types?

I keep wondering how a Rubbia thorium reactor would handle a natural disaster of Fukushima level intensity. As I understand it the nuclear chain reaction would stop instantly if the power is cut, but ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

How do you build a nuclear reactor in your garage?

When I came across this link earlier today, I was astounded. Nuclear reactors are immensely complex devices that took scientists years to develop, and are usually housed in huge facilities. The link ...
4
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2answers
186 views

Can bad guys really hide “dirty bomb” material via bananas?

This one probably has some cross-over with Skeptics SE, but I thought it fits here a little better. The concept comes from the TV show NCIS:LA second season episode "Empty Quiver" Here, the villains ...
1
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0answers
37 views

Nuclear Weapon Effects: Cloud Rise [closed]

I am interested in modeling the rise of a nuclear cloud to stabilization height post detonation. I am interested in any ideas you may have on the approach. I have collected some research on the topic ...
3
votes
2answers
71 views

How to block neutrons

What is a good way to block neutrons and what is the mechanism that allows this? It's my understanding that polyethylene is somewhat effective. Why?
6
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4answers
1k views

What is the minimum amount of fissile mass required to acheive criticality?

Wikipedia gives the following definition for critical mass. A critical mass is the smallest amount of fissile material needed for a sustained nuclear chain reaction. No mention is made of a ...
0
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1answer
156 views

Fukushima vs Thorium [closed]

This is not a question about traditional nuclear power plants vs the thorium based. But about the Fukushima plant itself and the very negative environmental effects from its meltdown of reactors 1 and ...
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 ...
0
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1answer
89 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
votes
1answer
100 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
96 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 ...
1
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1answer
87 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 ...
2
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1answer
94 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
171 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
591 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 ?
4
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0answers
137 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
294 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 ...
1
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2answers
85 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
154 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 ...
0
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0answers
161 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
107 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
90 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 ...
9
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2answers
3k 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 ...
0
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1answer
226 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?
1
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2answers
99 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 ...
3
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1answer
216 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
235 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 ...
0
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2answers
81 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
561 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
314 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
298 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
votes
1answer
250 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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8answers
4k views

Why don't modern spacecraft use nuclear power?

The Voyager 1 & 2 spacecraft launched in 1977 with Plutonium as their source of electricity. 34 years later they claim these two spacecraft have enough power to last them until at least 2020. That ...